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Is it OK to blog while off sick?

  • Richard Fair
  • 7 Dec 06, 09:52 AM

It’s not something I really thought about until earlier this week when I was taken to my bed with a near-death inducing cold.

Counting the tiles on the bedroom ceiling was driving me insane (13x12 = 156 plus a few part tiles round the chimney, so I’d say round it up to 160).

Despite the weakness of my arms and legs and uncontrollable urge to sneeze the contents of my nose on anyone within spitting distance of me, I needed to blog. But what if the boss looks at my site. “Too ill to work”, he’ll think, “but not too ill to blog. I’ll sack that slacker when he gets back in the office. That’ll put an end to his little games.”

So I don’t blog anything for fear that if the virus (that really was leaving me at death’s door) doesn’t get me, my boss will. Of course by not blogging I’m unable to share my real life experiences with my reader and thus render part of the ethos of blogging redundant.

It was the same, only slightly different, when I went through a spell of working from home.

I was a slave to the computer and the house. Not daring to step outside for fear that it would be at the precise moment the boss would want to speak to me about writing something about bus routes in Wigan. Then, not getting an answer on the phone, he would immediately presume that I was not in fact working at all, but off out to the park all day walking the dog or shopping for antiques or bread. While actually I was just in the toilet. (Of course I avoided using that too in case the phone rang and the whole ‘being out’ nightmare would become a reality).

There were many pluses working from home. I could get up fifteen minutes before starting work and be home before the computer had logged me out. There were days when I could work in my pyjamas and slippers and I could choose what to listen to - music or the radio or next door’s dog howling (except I didn’t have much choice in the latter, but the radio drowned him out).

Actually I think working from home meant more time working. None of the distractions of working in an office. And there were days when I was feeling under the weather a little and may have thought twice about dragging my aching limbs into Manchester, but was happy to sit and suffer at home alone. Without any sympathy. At all. (Actually, what was I thinking? I could have been really ill and no one would have known).

Anyway, blogging when you’re sick. Is it allowed? Is it ok to just post ‘Sorry I’m sick and can’t update the blog’ – or is that contradictory? Writing that you can’t write is like drawing a picture to illustrate that you can’t draw. Plus the boss may read it even though he doesn’t read blogs or know that you write one. But there’s always the chance that he’ll stumble across it while checking for Ford Cortina Mark 3 spares on Ebay.

So, blogging while off work being really, really ill – playing with fire or a part of the convalescing process?

(Just in case the boss does read this, I wrote it in work time, but had the original idea while at home fighting off the Grim Reaper. I’m happy for him to see my germ-infested notes at any time.)

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At least it counts as therapy.

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It is playing with fire if your boss discovers it, it might give him or her the idea to email you some work to finish off from your sickbed. But don't worry, I believe you...

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You could configure your blog so that you can post from a mobile device like a BlackBerry. That way you can still stay in your sick bed and blog without the normal effort it would take to go to a desktop computer. Some might say why not use a laptop in bed...

Well thats fine but they do get pretty hot on the duvet and if you had a fever the two just wouldn't mix. :)

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When blogging, it's just okay if it takes you ten minutes to construct an even half-coherent sentence. With actual work, not so much!

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Might depend on what exactly you blog about. You know what I'd do? I'd write up something in a notepad (or - Notepad, or Word) and upload it to the blog either in the morning or in the evening? That would be like, a proof of the fact that I'm ill, coughing and sneezing throughout the day, but also a manifestation of my *secret* passion that I'm fulfilling either at dawn or at dusk. :)) Then, of course, I'd have to put up a disclaimer on my blog - 'Watch the time of my posts'. And then I'd have to hope my boss notices the disclaimer...

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Yes, I frequently have blogging-whilst-sick angst. Generally I play safe and don't blog.

Even though it is perfectly possible to be too ill to work, but not so ill you can't blog. Today was a case in point. In the end I didn't blog, I just posted blogs I'd prepared earlier. With an accompanying note explaining this was what I'd done, in case my boss was watching.

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Having previously worked as a HR officer, I can confirm this is quite a grey area. In your contract it may have some comments relating to sickness absence and not true sickness and how disiplinary procedures can be invoked etc, however it is what constitues sickness absence....If you are very ill and have the flu, then there may be an argument that you shouldn't have the energy to blog, however if you have sprained your ankle or torn a ligament in your back, then I think it should be fine.

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