When Did Sick Days Become Work From Home Days?

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A friend of mine named James Whatley posted a question recently when he was home sick from work.  “When did sick days become work from home days?”  Is that even a question for entrepreneurs?  I can’t remember in my entire working career not working on a day I was sick.  But I think the question is, when did it become the norm?  Do CEO’s, bosses, supervisors, etc. expect you to stay on top of email or listen in on a conference call when you’re home sick?

I think it was the release of BlackBerry in 2003 and the ability to have home wifi starting in the early 2000’s that were the downfall of sick days being days employees didn’t work.  Now you’re expected to work from home, answering email, updating reports and taking calls.  Wifi has made a large portion of this possible, according to Thomas Kenniff, an NYC criminal attorney – working from home is the new acceptable way of being productive.

I know when I’m sick and in bed I’m surrounded by my laptop and phone.  As a little compliment to Phone.com, when I’ve emailed our team saying I’m sick, I’ve gotten responses like, “We’ve got you covered for the day.”  It’s nice knowing I can actually take a day off to be sick and recuperate.  Though I still try to stay on top of my email and having the Phone.com app on my cell phone I’m able to make and receive work calls from bed.  As nice as it may be to take a day off to recuperate many small business owners and employees still need to work.  Maybe it’s our American work till you drop mentality but it is the way it is.

How do you handle sick days in your company?  Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.


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