A flu epidemic. Again. This seems to be one of the alarmist/hot items of discussion in the news.
If the media is correct, then a good portion of the workforce is engaging in the following thought process this morning: “You know, I think I am coming down with something. I guess. Should I call off work sick or just suck it up and go in the office? I just took off time over the holidays, so I do not want to make my boss mad or use up sick days this early in the year. I guess I will just go into work and ride this out.”
Distributed, remote or virtual situations remove that thought process. Not everyone is under the same roof for the day spreading germs – touching door knobs, handling files, pushing buttons on the copier — generally sharing the wealth of sickness. Even if someone works remotely, they are not shielded from the illnesses of family members, friends, or others at events or meetings. But, it would reduce the issue of “working through an illness” and dragging your co-workers down with you. This seems logical, even though it is not backed up by medical or empirical evidence.
With effective communication and an engaged culture, a virtual team can support ill team members and keep work flow moving at a normal pace. This reduces the risk of getting sick just by showing up for your job.
(Photo credit: jronaldlee.com; Photo © 2010 J. Ronald Lee)