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AIBU?

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?

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ChazsBrilliantAttitude · 06/10/2022 14:02

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When I was off work with a migraine I could walk to a coffee shop but because of the impact on my eyesight I couldn't stare at a screen or read a document because the letters wouldn't come into focus.

You would have to hope I hadn't worked for you for more than 2 years or you would be facing an unfair dismissal case.

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Ithoughtthiswastherehearsal · 06/10/2022 14:02

Agree with you OP. A sunny walk is a healthy way to test your recovery too and it’s ridiculous to say if you can cope with a short walk you can cope with a full day of work, for reasons so obvious.

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Ted27 · 06/10/2022 14:03

@TheStoop

could you tell me what the grounds would be that would stand up to a legal claim for unfair dismissal

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EilonwyWithRedGoldHair · 06/10/2022 14:03

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So someone walks to see their GP (I know, unlikely these days...), then has to pick up a prescription, feels knackered so stops for a sit down and a coffee in Costa and you'd sack them?

Someone needs to pop to Tesco for some food, tissues, paracetamol, etc and you saw them in the café you'd assume they were taking the piss?

I'm glad I don't work for you!

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PaperMonster · 06/10/2022 14:05

The fresh air will do you good! A gentle stroll and a takeaway coffee cannot be compared to doing a full day’s work!!

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TeaAndBrie · 06/10/2022 14:05

bruffin · 06/10/2022 13:52

No necessarily

I have that bad cold (negative for covid) went for a long walk to clear my head a bit, came back and felt knackered and light headed but i wasnt well enough to go into work.

It really does seem to be doing the rounds doesn’t it. I’m normally okay but this has wiped me out.
I’ve got little chance of being spotted as I live in a different town to where I work.
I work in the NHS as a business support manager. Due to the environment I work in I cannot work from home as I cannot access systems.

OP posts:
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ChakaKhanfan · 06/10/2022 14:06

I had sickness and diarrhoea last week, I need to be 48hrs clear before returning to work.
I went for a walk, I felt weak but by that point I had been 24hrs free and I needed to get out. I didn’t see anyone and had a mask in my pocket in case. (As well as anti bac gel)

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TedMullins · 06/10/2022 14:12

There’s some right jobsworths on here. Of course it’s fine! Being off sick doesn’t mean being housebound. It wouldn’t even occur to me that popping out for a coffee would be a problem.

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ChangeOver22 · 06/10/2022 14:14

Definitely go for the walk, get a coffee (quickly so as not to spread germs) and come home. It's a good test. I'd do that. I'd not beat myself up or give myself 10 lashings for wanting to walk and see how I felt. Sunshine is good for you and it's normal to want to test the waters. Sometimes you can think you're much better, get outside, get to the end of the road and have to turn around and come back.

An 8 hour shift or more is not the same as having a 5 minute walk. Come on people, be reasonable.

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EndlessMagpies · 06/10/2022 14:16

Going for a short walk in the fresh air is literally what the doctor ordered when you've been ill and are starting to feel well enough to actually set foot outside the door. It will do you the world of good, and help you to sleep better as well.

Your DH is being a prat.

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dingbat56 · 06/10/2022 14:18

If you can go for a walk and a coffee I’d say you are well enough to try and go to work even if you ended up doing a half day … but then I would never have taken 3 whole days off work for a cold

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SirenSays · 06/10/2022 14:18

It's fine. I hope you had a nice coffee.
I hate this babying of employees. If you're adult enough to be employed, then you're adult enough to make your own decisions on whether you're fit enough to work.

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FirstnameSuesecondnamePerb · 06/10/2022 14:21

That's last century thinking in my mind.
I trust people on sick leave, and likewise expect to be treated like an adult.
It's not like you are going skiing

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pigsDOfly · 06/10/2022 14:21

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.

Utter nonsense.

I'm recovering from Covid. It takes me all morning to get myself together enough to get moving and have lunch.

I've been taking my dog out for a walk across the field in the afternoon because she needs to see the outside world and, while I probably wouldn't go for a walk if I didn't have to with the dog, I find it does help me feel a bit better; being stuck inside really brings my mood down.

However, there is no way I could get up in the morning and take myself into work and do a job all day.

Having said that though, I'm retired so it isn't an issue for me, thankfully.

I can remember when recovering from a nasty virus you'd be advised by the doctor to 'take a walk across the downs', and yes, you probably would have seen your doctor in those days, even for a virus.

There's a huge difference between a gentle walk and a day at work.

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MistyBean · 06/10/2022 14:22

Some of these responses are hilarious. If in a professional job you need to be on the ball, and you can easily be well enough for a stroll but not well though to focus on long documents, meetings and make good decisions. In my work they would encourage us to get some fresh air if off sick, and would assume that you would be back in a day or so. They would also not want us messing up work that will have consequences for the sake of trying to squeeze an extra day out of staff. I perhaps wouldn't go to cafes or kiosks as wouldn't want to spread anything, but I think you are fine to be out briefly.

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midgetastic · 06/10/2022 14:22

Sone people actually need to think and do things at work!

Fresh air and a little exercise can be a great way to recover

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SarahSissons · 06/10/2022 14:24

I think you can go out for a walk to stretch your legs, I think it’s a bit unpleasant to go to a coffee shop. I used to hate it when I worked in Sainsburys and you’d have serve someone with a streaming cold, and that was pre-Covid. It’s just gross and nasty for other patrons.

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Jconnais1chansonquivavsenerver · 06/10/2022 14:24

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's just nonsense! Doesn't take into account a long working day, travel to and from work, and then, depending on the type of job, brain-power or physical robustness necessary to get through the working day, carrying out your work properly as opposed to the minimal "presenteeism" your comment implies.

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Blanketpolicy · 06/10/2022 14:25

In my job if I am well enough at the tail end of a cold to enjoy a walk to the coffee shop then I am well enough to work. I wouldn't be firing on all cylinders and would avoid/or call on support from my team when making any major or critical decisions.

It all depends on your job.

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MistyBean · 06/10/2022 14:25

dingbat56 · 06/10/2022 14:18

If you can go for a walk and a coffee I’d say you are well enough to try and go to work even if you ended up doing a half day … but then I would never have taken 3 whole days off work for a cold

... No need to be a martyr. With some colds I just get a pounding headache, there is no way I could do my job. Why aren't people allowed to be ill? The world won't stop turning because you took a couple of days off.

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Imissmoominmama · 06/10/2022 14:26

You’re doing something positive for your well-being, and are more likely to recover sooner.

Go for the walk.

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melj1213 · 06/10/2022 14:26

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And most people would be better off not working for such a judgemental and uncaring boss as you are making yourself out to be. Just because you are physically capable of leaving the house doesn't mean you are capable of a full day of work.

OP YANBU

I want to know what jobs PPs do where their day is no more strenuous and requires no more effort than an hour's stroll in the woods and stopping at a cafe requires? There's a massive amount of difference between having a workload to manage, with expectations, deadlines or set expectations and being able to do whatever you feel able to do at your own pace, knowing you can stop whenever you need to.

I had abdominal keyhole surgery in April, felt fine almost immediately but was signed off work for a minimum of 6 weeks ... I work in a supermarket where my job involves standing/walking for 8-12 hr shifts, lifting, carrying and general physical activity. After about 2 weeks I was more than able to drive the 10 minutes to my workplace, stroll round the shop at my own pace and do my weekly shop, get everything into the car (using more bags than usual so that nothing was too heavy but meaning all of my bags for life got a good day out), drive home, put the shopping away and then go back to sitting on the sofa with a cuppa for a couple of hours rest but I was in no way able to do my job. Even when I went back I had to start back on a phased return because 4/5hrs was about the limit of my energy for the first few weeks as I got back into the swing of things.

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FattyAirways · 06/10/2022 14:26

I think it will do you the world of good. How lovely and refreshing us going for a walk and having a coffee? It's lovely and good for the soul and for your recovery. Go for it!

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TimBoothseyes · 06/10/2022 14:28

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.

Well you obviously don't have a job where you're on your feet all day walking on average 25000 steps per day and lifting boxes from 1 place to another....if you did then you'd realise a gentle stroll in the fresh air is way different to doing what amounts to a 7.5 hour workout every day.

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ladymactíre · 06/10/2022 14:29

Of course you can go for a walk and get yourself a coffee. I hope you already went. It'll do you good!
It's not the same with going to work

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