The topic of MCs (medical certificates) is often viewed as taboo in workplaces in Singapore. Those who take MCs are usually perceived as skiving off work, and those who do not are praised for being hardworking.
When you look at it from a numbers only point-of-view, the more time an employee puts in at the office, the greater the output he or she can produce. However, people can never simply be looked upon as a statistic – which means productivity of employees is not necessarily directly proportional to the amount of time a person spends in the office.
Apart from just putting in more time, there are also many other factors that may affect employees' productivity, including training, morale and health.
An employee who is ill is probably not as productive as a healthy employee. Moreover, an employee who is ill, and in the office, might disrupt the productivity of other healthy employees. In this article, we will share three reasons why you should not be afraid to apply for and used an MC when you really need one.
# 1 You need to fully recover
When you are unwell, you need adequate rest for your immune system to be able to fight viruses and bacteria. In fact, the last thing you need is work stress hindering you from making a full recovery.
If you continue working through your illness, it will take a longer time for you to recover. This will leave you feeling awful for a longer period, and needless to say, you will not be able to deliver your best work, even though you may be dragging yourself to the office.
In the mid- to longer-term, your weakened immune system may succumb to more serious illnesses or you may become more prone to falling ill. This may end up keeping you away from the office for a longer period of time at a later date.
Taking a day or two of MC, as ordered by your doctor, will give you the rest you need to fully recover. This will help you feel more energetic and allow you to produce higher quality work when you return to office.
# 2 Don't spread your illness in the office
If you are down with a contagious illness, such as a common cold, flu or stomach flu, you can easily spread it to other colleagues. This will lead to more down time for more people in the office, and might eventually affect the company's overall business performance and productivity.
With more people falling ill in the office, workloads may also have to be divided among the healthier employees. The combination of heavier workloads and having more colleagues falling ill can also morale in the company.
Finally, the implications of spreading an illness to colleagues can extend beyond the workplace. Once they fall ill, they can infect their spouse and children and this can cause even greater personal distress, which may lead to requiring even more time away from work. Nobody wants that.
# 3 Improving perception of your abilities
You may think you are being responsible by working through your illness. However, you are actually doing yourself a big disservice when you go to work while you are sick.
If you are sick, your main goal is going to be to submit your work on time. This means producing the minimum amount of work required at the minimum standards required in order to get by. You are unlikely to value-add to your project, go beyond what's required of you or learn new aspects about your job. This is not how you want your colleagues and managers to think of you, or your abilities.
So while you may reason with yourself that you are pushing through the pain barrier by showing up and (trying to) be productive, your colleagues and managers may not share the same sentiments if all you are doing is submitting sub-par work when you are sick. In these circumstances, you may be better off just resting from home.
Becoming a better employee
Part of becoming a better employee is by becoming healthier. As explained, this will lead to you being more productive at the office, submitting better quality work, as well as being able to gain new value-added skills and contribute to your organization in more ways.
AIA Vitality motivates you on your journey to making lifestyle and dietary changes, no matter how small, by rewarding you with premium discounts as you make healthier and better lifestyle choices, as well as discounted health screenings, gym memberships, airfares, movie tickets and many more.
A healthier and more active you also means a healthier family. Any lifestyle changes you make can easily be adopted by the rest of your family. While this means you don't have to take as much time off work to care for your family members who fall ill, the bigger benefit is being able to spend more quality time with your loved ones