My feed

to access all these features


You don’t need to be housebound if you’re off sick from work

194 replies

TeaAndBrie · 06/10/2022 12:49

I’ve been off work for 3 days with a bad cold (not covid). I’m used to being on the go and spend more time out of the house than in. The last two days have been spent in bed, today I’m feeling a little brighter but get tired and dizzy quickly so not well enough to go back to work. My concentration level is terrible and at work I need to make important decisions and have staff depending on me.
it’s a beautiful sunny day outside and I was considering going out for a walk and maybe get a coffee from a kiosk (not sit in Costa or anything). My DH was mortified and said if I’m ill I shouldn’t leave the house and if i can then I’m well enough to go to work.
interested to know what people think?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

829 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Aposterhasnoname · 06/10/2022 12:51

I’m with your DH I’m afraid. I wouldn’t dream of going out if I’m off I’ll.

Heatherbell1978 · 06/10/2022 12:51

He's being ridiculous. Unless your job involves you going for a walk and having a take-out coffee, it really isn't the same thing!

Badger1970 · 06/10/2022 12:51

If you can go for a walk and sit in a coffee shop, you're well enough to be at work.

Toomuch2019 · 06/10/2022 12:52

Badger1970 · 06/10/2022 12:51

If you can go for a walk and sit in a coffee shop, you're well enough to be at work.


OutsideLookingOut · 06/10/2022 12:53

Toomuch2019 · 06/10/2022 12:52


No way depends what the work is surely?!

35965a · 06/10/2022 12:53

It depends what you’re off with. For a cold I would say if you’re well enough for a walk you’re probably well enough to be in work (for most jobs)

AnneLovesGilbert · 06/10/2022 12:53

Don’t infect the poor coffee shop people with your germs. This bloody virus is levelling people.

Sit in your garden if you have one or by an open window.

PeekabooAtTheZoo · 06/10/2022 12:54

I don’t think you are unreasonable at the tail end of an illness if you plan to go in the next day, but many employers seem to view this differently because presenteeism only seems worse post-covid.

astrowars · 06/10/2022 12:54

There a huge difference between a gentle walk and picking up a take away coffee than working all day. There's absolutely nothing wrong with doing that as part of your recovery, the fresh air will definitely help.
Being not fit for work does not mean being under house arrest.

Heatherbell1978 · 06/10/2022 12:54

Badger1970 · 06/10/2022 12:51

If you can go for a walk and sit in a coffee shop, you're well enough to be at work.

Do people not have jobs that require more effort and concentration than going for a walk? There's no way I could manage multiple zoom calls and make decisions constantly if I was ill. But I could walk to my local coffee shop.

BiasedBinding · 06/10/2022 12:54

What’s your job?

WhileMyGuitarGentlyWeeps · 06/10/2022 12:55

YABU to be out if you've got the lurgy! You could be spreading anything. My fucking optician went to work with a snuffly coughing kind of lurgy, and when I had my eye test done on Monday, she was turning around coughing every 2 minutes and blowing her fucking nose! If I had known this I would have cancelled the eye test. Unsurprisingly, 2-3 days later I have started to develop a sore throat and a sniffle. Fuming I am - FEWWWMIN!!! Angry

I mean, yeah you shouldn't have to be confined to your bed when you're off sick, but if you have something like a bad cold/cough/sore throat, then stay IN!

drkpl · 06/10/2022 12:55

I was off work for 6 weeks with long covid. I still had to walk ds to nursery and back, and got the occasional coffee on the way home (don’t drive). Granted, after doing that I was comatose on the sofa for the rest of the day with exhaustion.

SquigglePigs · 06/10/2022 12:55

Badger1970 · 06/10/2022 12:51

If you can go for a walk and sit in a coffee shop, you're well enough to be at work.

That really isn't true. With a lot of illnesses the difference between a short walk and the level of concentration you need for an 8 hour day are not even remotely comparable!

To be honest if it was me I'd do the walk but not the coffee. No really good reason I can put my finger on but is my gut reaction. Getting a bit of fresh air is good for you and you should definitely go for it.

GingerbreadPanda · 06/10/2022 12:55

Depends on the job. You can be well enough to be at work without being well enough to do your job. And how bad is it if you do a bad job varies too.

DewinDwl · 06/10/2022 12:57

Badger1970 · 06/10/2022 12:51

If you can go for a walk and sit in a coffee shop, you're well enough to be at work.

Having a coffee is not the same as doing 8 hours of full-on work.

That said OP I would consider a short walk but not the coffee.

FrankTheThunderbird · 06/10/2022 12:57

Depends on what your job is, why you're off sick and what you're going out for.

I was a carer working 16 hour days. If I was off with a cold I probably could have managed a short walk to the local coffee shop (10 min walk) but not a 16 hour shift.
I wouldn't do that however as the coffee shop staff don't want my germs!

I'm currently not working at all for MH reasons but try regularly go out for a few hours because that helps my MH.

PuttingDownRoots · 06/10/2022 12:57

A walk in the fresh air in a non crowded area would probably be beneficial for your recovery.

Going out for lunch or coffee or shopping wouldn't.

drkpl · 06/10/2022 12:57

Are people seriously suggesting that people now shouldn’t leave the house with a cold for fear of spreading it?? Honestly, get your heads out of the Covid gutter. We needs to get on with our lives at some point. Everyone’s immune systems will be shot if they don’t get the occasional cold!

TeenDivided · 06/10/2022 12:59

A walk and grab a coffee is fine.

There is often an inbetween when you are well enough to be out and about a bit, but not well enough for work. However the 'optics aren't good' to be seen by a colleague or whoever to be doing much.

NewPapaGuinea · 06/10/2022 13:00

Badger1970 · 06/10/2022 12:51

If you can go for a walk and sit in a coffee shop, you're well enough to be at work.

Your job must be a piece of piss

junebirthdaygirl · 06/10/2022 13:01

Presuming you are going back to work tomorrow you can't go from bed to office. You need a half way situation and a walk to pick up coffee is fine. Stretch your legs, get some fresh air and begin to gain strength to go back. Its fine.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 06/10/2022 13:02

Badger1970 · 06/10/2022 12:51

If you can go for a walk and sit in a coffee shop, you're well enough to be at work.

She has no plans to sit in a coffee shop though.

Badger1970 · 06/10/2022 13:02

Yes running a business with staff is a walk in the park Hmm

If I'm not here, then I don't earn anything and more importantly, I don't bring work in so my staff get won't get paid either. It's that simple.

Worker here, not shirker.

TeaAndBrie · 06/10/2022 13:02

Thank you, it’s definitely interesting to get people’s opinions. Just to clarify I’m hoping to be in work tomorrow, I was considering a walk as more of a test to see how much I can cope with as it’s easy to feel better at home on the sofa. I was thinking of a walk in a nearby wooded area, away from people. The coffee would’ve been from a little citreon type van they have there, no close contact with people.
I’ve been testing every day for covid and negative.
I work for the NHS, I’ve had 4 sick days in the last 3 years so don’t take days off lightly. I wouldn’t want to be passing germs on, covid or otherwise.
so because of the way sickness thresholds work if I return to work before I’m ready and have to go off again that counts as two incidents.
I thought of a walk in the sunshine might be good for some well-being time, fresh air and a bit of exercise only.

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.