Parents, Take Your Sick Days

by Tim Sullivan

Quick Takes

  • Commit to taking time off when you’re not feeling well
  • Try working from home—but only if you’re well enough
  • Be direct when you call in sick
  • Create standard practices with your team for sick time
  • Set expectations with your family for when parents are sick

Recently, I did something radical: I took a sick day.

I hadn’t been well for a few days, but I’d dutifully worked per usual. When I woke up on day three at 4:30 in the morning sicker than ever, I realized that I had to actually take time off. Like, really take time off—no email, no memo writing, no “just checking in.” So, I did: I napped, played video games, cuddled the dog, watched Netflix, drank some broth. By the end of the day, ...

Get HBR Working Parents Series Collection (3 Books) (HBR Working Parents Series) now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.