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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?

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

829 votes. Final results.

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You are being unreasonable
51%
You are NOT being unreasonable
49%
Xmasbaby11 · 06/10/2022 14:57

I think it's fine OP. I did the same today. I have been off work 10 days with covid and today is the first day I feel Ok and energetic enough to go out (and also testing negative). After 10 days indoors, it did me a lot of good. I walked to a couple of local shops. I was considering getting a coffee and sitting in the park but didn't feel like it in the end. I'm a university teacher and couldn't have managed teaching in a classroom all day, but going out for an hour was fine. I will be back to work tomorrow. I think after a while off, it is wise to go out briefly to see how you feel - as you say, a kind of test.

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teaandtoastwithmarmite · 06/10/2022 15:02

My colleague has been off sick for two years. I know she hasn't stayed indoors all that time.

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Thurst · 06/10/2022 15:07

In your circumstances I wouldn’t want to be seen having a walk and a coffee. It’s not a good look to other staff. However if you live miles away and definitely won’t be seen it’s not harming anyone. Obviously if you’re off for MH reasons or a long term illness that’s different.

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JulesGeebee · 06/10/2022 15:07

A half hour stroll for some air and a drink when you’re recovering from an illness isn’t remotely comparable to having to deal with colleagues &/or the public, concentrate and make decisions, stand up and be physical or sit at a desk staring at a screen for 8 hours and so on. The only thing wrong is that you might get seen by a work gossip and your quick walk is blown up into a major shopping/lunching expedition

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AnneElliott · 06/10/2022 15:18

Your DH sounds like my mum - this was her mantra!! 'If you're not well e ohhh to go to school then you're not well enough to go out'!

I don't think it's wrong - id do it if I was sure i won't be seen by your boss or colleagues.

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IncompleteSenten · 06/10/2022 15:21

I think it's fine.
You don't have be either on your deathbed or at work.

It's ok to take a day to recover once you're over the worst of it.

Getting better doesn't happen with the snap of fingers. It's not death's door - click - oh wow I feel amazing, like I can run a marathon.

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Toddlerteaplease · 06/10/2022 15:22

I'm occasionally of sick for several
Weeks at a time. I go out and have met up with colleagues for coffee. Since I'm
Usually hobbling around ok crunches if I'm
Off. It's fairly obvious I can't work. Plus they all know how much I hate being off sick. However if it's because I've got a vomiting bug then I'm not going anywhere!

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JennyJenny8675309 · 06/10/2022 15:26

My job teaching six year olds requires so much more energy, concentration and effort than a leisurely walk or sitting in a coffee shop. I do stay home because I wouldn’t want parents to see me out and think I was well enough to be working.

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pigsducksandchickens · 06/10/2022 15:26

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.

Rubbish. I have recently been off with a bad back, I have a sitting-at-a-desk-doing-admin-all-day job. I cannot sit with my back, I have to be up and moving, so I go out and walk. For miles. If I pass a coffee shop I go in and grab a takeaway. My work is well aware that if they phone me I will be out of the house. It completely depends on why you are off.

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asblindasabat · 06/10/2022 15:26

I don’t see anything wrong going for a short walk out in the fresh air. Unless you’re so ill that you can’t get up.

But I wouldn’t have stopped for a coffee.

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AndTwoFilmsByFrancoisTruffaut · 06/10/2022 15:27

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.

No offence but I take it your job doesn’t require much in the way of using your brain.

Putting one leg in front of the other doesn’t really take much cognitive processing.

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dizzydizzydizzy · 06/10/2022 15:28

This reply has been deleted

This has been deleted by MNHQ for breaking our Talk Guidelines.

How harsh. I'm off sick now and have just been for a coffee. Definitely not well enough to be at work as I can scarcely even walk. Friend drove me to coffee shop and I had to take about 10 steps from car to chair, but you wouldn't have realized if you walked past 2 mins later.

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Beseen22 · 06/10/2022 15:31

I've always worked the kind of places where I'm not working solo so if I'm off I've always got the lecture about how this will effect my colleagues. As a result I'm very rarely off and only when too infectious/too ill so would probably have gone along with your DH.

Though recently had a miscarriage and was immediately signed off for 2 weeks. The midwife thought I was insane when I asked to do my nightshift before I was going in for the surgical management and I got a lecture from her about how I was absolutely not fit for work. It was a bit weird because I was still fit to do the school run/go meet friends for very depressing chats but absolutely would not have been able to cope with the stresses of my job or physically coped with the heavy nature. The kindness of that midwife meant I allowed myself time off to grieve without even having to think about work and was physically and mentally ready to return.

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Chooksnroses · 06/10/2022 15:31

Put it this way. Would it make a difference if you knew that you'd bump into your boss?

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madasawethen · 06/10/2022 15:32

A coffee and a sit in the sun does wonders.

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Hawkins001 · 06/10/2022 15:33

I've seen a friends perspectives that did the opposite side of this, they were off ill, and yet we're seen in town, the basics were the illness did prevent them on that day, and they had facilities near by, but because of the being in town, it did not go down well with the other persons colluges.
@TeaAndBrie

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Hawkins001 · 06/10/2022 15:35

When I've need to be off, but still had duties, to do, id fit it in with a mini shopping trip to e.g. Sainsbury's ect, or be very covert.

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FlissyPaps · 06/10/2022 15:35

I might receive some stick for this but I don’t care.

I was off work last year due to poor mental health caused by some very personal issues. I wasn’t housebound. Part of my recovery was to be out of the house and keeping busy which was actively encouraged by my employer. I even went abroad. And I returned to work in a much better mental state than what it was when I first went on sickness leave.

Every illness wether it be physical or mental is different. Everyone’s circumstances are different. Everyone’s work, roles and responsibilities are different. Do not allow anyone to make you feel guilty for going for a walk and grabbing a coffee. Life isn’t black and white.

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Hawkins001 · 06/10/2022 15:37

FlissyPaps · 06/10/2022 15:35

I might receive some stick for this but I don’t care.

I was off work last year due to poor mental health caused by some very personal issues. I wasn’t housebound. Part of my recovery was to be out of the house and keeping busy which was actively encouraged by my employer. I even went abroad. And I returned to work in a much better mental state than what it was when I first went on sickness leave.

Every illness wether it be physical or mental is different. Everyone’s circumstances are different. Everyone’s work, roles and responsibilities are different. Do not allow anyone to make you feel guilty for going for a walk and grabbing a coffee. Life isn’t black and white.

I Understand your perspectives and course of action.
I think often its the perception of how colleagues view your activities, vs what management have agreed ect.

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Bacibaci · 06/10/2022 15:39

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.

Rubbish. Sustaining a full day at work including the concentration required is a far cry from a short time out as you recuperate.

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TeaAndBrie · 06/10/2022 15:40

Chooksnroses · 06/10/2022 15:31

Put it this way. Would it make a difference if you knew that you'd bump into your boss?

Actually no, when I have my return to work interview I will tell her that I did go out and get some fresh air in the section about what action I took.

OP posts:
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Hawkins001 · 06/10/2022 15:40

Bacibaci · 06/10/2022 15:39

Rubbish. Sustaining a full day at work including the concentration required is a far cry from a short time out as you recuperate.

And also the psychological perspectives can also help you feel better, than omg 😲 got e.g. 8 hour shift.

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FlissyPaps · 06/10/2022 15:44

Hawkins001 · 06/10/2022 15:37

I Understand your perspectives and course of action.
I think often its the perception of how colleagues view your activities, vs what management have agreed ect.

It’s nor really any of the colleagues business.

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Ireallycantthinkofagoodone · 06/10/2022 15:48

I see nothing wrong in what you suggested. A woodland walk and take away coffee will surely perk you up. Good luck to you!

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DameHelena · 06/10/2022 15:48

These threads always bring out the competitive martyrs and the Monty Python Blakc Knight-alikes ('It's just a flesh wound!'). Get off your high horses, the lot of you, and give your heads a wobble.

OP, I hope you're going or have gone out. Fresh air and gentle exercise are good for you. And I totally agree with the get-off-the-sofa test; I once had a colleague whose mantra for herself and others was 'When you think you feel completely better, have another day off.'

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