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PayScale’s VIP Blog Roundup: Should My Manager Ask Sick Coworkers to Stay Home?

Topics: Career Advice

As we barrel toward flu season, office workers start thinking about what to do when they get sick … and when their colleagues fall ill and insist on coming to work anyway.

sick coworkers
Image Credit: mcfarnlandmo/Flickr

First things first: if you’re lucky enough have sick time, there’s no excuse for coming to work and infecting your coworkers with your germs. That said, most of us have worked with folks who are hoarding those sick days for some reason. In this week’s roundup, we look at expert advice on whether to get management involved in the big sick-day dilemma, plus tips about managing references, and insight on getting people to listen to (and remember) your message.

Alison Green at Ask a Manager: Can I Ask My Manager to Tell Sick People to Stay Home?

A reader writes to ask Green:

Do You Know What You're Worth?

I work for a company with an accrued PTO policy that is used for all vacation time and sick leave. However, we have the option to work from home if we need to, and the manager of my group is pretty flexible and understanding.

However, over the past few weeks, several of my coworkers have come into the office while obviously sick. They spray Lysol and take medicine at their desks instead of taking a day off or working from home. Most recently, a coworker who sits close to me has come in while coughing, sniffling, and even groaning throughout the day.

The question: can the reader ask management to get involved, and encourage people to stay home when they’re sick — and if not, can the reader ask to stay home? Green’s answer will be helpful for anyone who’s not looking forward to another long winter of catching every single bug that comes along.

Randi Bussin at LinkedIn: Are References Still Relevant? Yes!

“In 2016, you may not think managing references warrants much time,” Bussin writes. “Between researching job opportunities online, interviewing, and networking, your plate is full. Yet a reference can still make or break a job offer, and you can’t automatically assume you’ll get a good one, even if your tenure at your company passed without a hiccup.”

In fact, one expert tells Bussin that half of the recommendations she sees are mediocre at best. If you’re not on top of your recommendation game, you could wind up passing on some not-so-great PR to a potential employer.

Bussin’s tips (and template) will help you avoid working against your own best interests.

Dr. Carmen Simon at Tanveer Naseer’s blog: How Leaders Can Make Their Message More Memorable

“While the human brain has not changed much in the past 40,000 years, what has changed is our ability to stay focused on a task,” writes cognitive scientist Dr. Simon. “Distractions, anxieties, ruminations about the past, and constant temptations to predict the future interfere with our ability to remember and get things done here and now.”

Simon’s book, Impossible to Ignore: Creating Memorable Content to Influence Decisions, addresses the challenge of getting clients and colleagues to remember your message, when most of us aren’t really paying attention to what anyone around us is saying. In this guest blog post on Tanveer Naseer’s blog, she explains how to create a message that people can’t help but remember … and act upon.

Tell Us What You Think

What’s the best career advice you’ve read this week? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.


Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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