If you don't, you run the risk of infecting the office, which is not great. If you do, you run the risk of being labeled a slacker (not to mention losing ground on your work). It's not always easy to decide because you can infect others a full day before the symptoms actually set in - and steering clear of your co-workers doesn't always help because respiratory drops can spread quite a distance. Yuck! From the WSJ's Sue Shellenbarger:
Many supervisors say they appreciate and respect a simple statement that an employee is too ill to work. Giving too many graphic details, or trying too hard to sound sick with "a very artistic fake cough, or saying, 'Oh, I have such a headache I can hardly talk,'" can spark suspicions that an employee is lying, says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, a hiring-consulting firm in Chicago. Just 85% of employees say they are always honest when they call in sick. And 1 in 7 women has lied about being ill, compared with 1 in 5 men, according to a 2011 survey of 5,250 working professionals by the career website theFIT, a unit of recruiting-software maker Bullhorn.
Some employees "have this sense that if I'm breathing, I need to go in and impress my supervisors," says Laura Bedrossian, a senior account executive at Peppercomm, a New York marketing and communications company. She recently told an intern who wasn't feeling well to go home. "If you have that drive to do something, you can ignore symptoms. But that's often the worst thing you can do," she says. Young employees, in particular, sometimes don't "realize how quickly you can bring an entire office down," says Ms. Bedrossian, who helps supervise interns in her office of 70 people.