Keeping your business running is difficult at the best of times. Trying to figure out how you’re going to keep your business running when you’re sick is nearly impossible. You may be tempted to push through it and continue with your day as planned, but that’s a very bad idea.
Whether you’re recovering from a medical malpractice injury or you’re simply suffering from the flu, there are multiple things you can do to keep your business running while you work on getting better.
1. Appoint Someone to Take Your Place.
When you think about training someone to do your job, it’s usually because you’re leaving the position, but it’s equally as important to make sure someone knows how to do your job so you can rest when you’re sick.
Whether you have effectively trained someone to do your important job duties or not, you have to appoint someone to take your place while you’re feeling under the weather. You can stay in contact with them about how things are going, and you can answer questions as they come up, but they should be able to do a good chunk of the work so you don’t have to.
2. Make Sure Everyone Knows You’re Ill.
Not only should your temporary replacement know you’re ill, so should everyone else in your office.
First, it will help prevent gossip from spreading around the office about your absence. Second, when everyone knows you’re out, they can help pick up tasks that you would normally have completed on your own. Although your replacement is hopefully knowledgeable, they would appreciate the extra help.
3. Set up an Appropriate Email Message.
Chances are, you’ll be checking your email while you’re at home, but you definitely shouldn’t be hounding your inbox. You should limit the time you spend on the computer and answer only the most important messages. That means there are going to be a lot of messages that will go unanswered while you’re resting.
Creating an out-of-office message that addresses your illness is a good way to set expectations for the people who email you while you’re recovering. Include the contact information of someone else in the office they can get ahold of if what they have to discuss is important, and let them know you’ll get back to them as soon as possible after you’re feeling better. That way, they don’t get upset or confused when they don’t receive a response for a few days.
4. Only Take Important Calls.
You’ll likely have a few important emails you’ll want to address while you’re out of the office, but you’ll probably also have a few important calls. That doesn’t mean you should answer your phone every time it rings.
Just as you’re avoiding trivial emails, you should also avoid trivial phone calls. Create a new voicemail message if you need to. Only keep or schedule calls that are absolutely essential.
If you communicate using the phone a lot throughout the day and want to maintain as much of that communication as possible, try doing more texting instead. It will enable you to send along an important message on your own time without having to be present for a phone call.
5. Work on a Catch-Up Plan.
It’s important to ease back into work after you’ve been ill or you have recovered from an accident. You don’t want to reinjure yourself or make yourself more susceptible to another illness. The trouble is, thinking about everything you have to do can make you feel anxious.
Encourage yourself to make a full recovery and put your mind at ease by working on a catch-up plan while you’re out of the office. It might include things like:
- Scheduling meetings so your employees can fill you in on everything you missed.
- Carving out time to answer emails and return phone calls.
- Blocking off a little extra time in the evening to work on important projects that you were unable to work on while you were recovering.
6. Don’t Make Any Important Decisions or Sign Important Paperwork.
One of the seemingly easiest things you can do to keep your business running while you’re feeling unwell is sign off on important paperwork or give a simple yes or no to an important question. Although these decisions only take a second to answer, you can put yourself into a corner by doing it while you’re sick or recovering from an accident.
There are multiple times you should avoid making a big decision, and when you don’t feel like your normal self is one of them. It isn’t uncommon for accidents to happen, and documents can contain information you don’t agree with. If someone else signs those documents on your behalf, they may not scrutinize it as closely as you would. It’s much better to save important decisions and documents for when you’re feeling better.
Make Sure You Have Plenty of Time to Rest.
Just because you’re staying at home doesn’t mean you’re resting like you should. Staying home can keep others in the office from getting sick, but there’s no point in being home if you’re just going to spend your time working instead. It’s important to make sure you actually make time to rest.
Your body needs more sleep when it is recovering. Get up late and go to bed early. If you’re feeling sluggish and unwell in the afternoon, take a nap, even if you think you should be checking your email. If you give your body the time it needs to rest and heal itself, you’ll actually be able to return to work and reclaim your normal energy levels a lot faster.
It’s just a fact of life that there will be days you won’t be able to go to work because you aren’t feeling your best. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can power through it. With these tips, you can give your body plenty of time to heal and keep your business running at the same time.