The Dilemma of Taking Sick Leave while Working from Home

思然 oce
3 min readOct 29, 2022
Photo by Zohre Nemati on Unsplash

This morning, I woke up feeling extremely under the weather — a terrible headache with leg weakness. I don’t feel like getting up, I just want to stay in my bed.

Commuting back to work takes over an hour in extremely crowded public transport, so under normal circumstances, I will take sick leave. It has always been a no-brainer, except for days that I have very important meetings that required me to show up, then I would have to try my best to struggle back to the office. (I know this sounds unhealthy, but that’s how things work here in my culture — Hong Kong.)

But now we are working from home.

There is no need to commute.

My job only requires my eyes to read stuff on my computer, my brain to think of a response and my fingers to type it out on my keyboard. Walking is no longer necessary for “going to work”. Sure, my brain is functioning less efficiently right now, but it is still working…

Photo by Jesse Martini on Unsplash

Maybe I should just keep working?

But this headache is really killing me! I just wanna lie on the bed. Maybe I should just take sick leave.

But how should I take sick leave now?

When we are in the office, I only need to email my direct supervisor to let her know about it. Other teammates not seeing me in the office will get why I am not replying to emails or sending out updates on work. They would know I am out of the office. They may not know why but that’s not the point. They only need to know not to expect an immediate response from me.

How do I let the entire team know that I am on sick leave?

Send a mass email to the entire team saying “Dear all, I am taking sick leave today.” This sounds so weird…. What’s a better way to update my team?

Maybe I should get up and google how to write such an email.

But “googling about how to write such an email” is a kind of work, if I can do this, maybe I could as well just work… Then I don’t need to take sick leave.

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思然 oce

PhD | Research Psychologist | Psychometrician | Computer Science Teacher | IT Auditor/Consultant | ex-CISA/CISSP | Top Writer in Humor | Work in HK, UK, USA