Last week was a struggle. I was sick Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. But I didn’t take any sick days. I have to be too ill to move to take a sick day and I know many of you can relate! So I spent Monday and Tuesday in the office trying to work, being horribly inefficient, irritable and no fun to be around – feeling scattered and frustrated. For some reason I place so much value on each ‘work day’ that I’ll continue to hit my head against a wall, just to say I’m putting in the time. Wednesday morning I woke up feeling refreshed, head clear and full of energy. And Wednesday morning I accomplished more in the first two hours at work than I had the previous two days. Then I lamented not being smart enough to have taken the sick days off. The crazy thing is, this is a cycle I repeat every time I’m sick. Fortunately, I don’t get sick too often.
In trying to get perspective on this cycle I can clearly conclude that my ROI would have been better had I taken sick days and relaxed, perhaps done some reading and kept my frustration to a minimum. Quite often, not ‘working’ in the typical way will boost ROI by cutting down on negative energy and creating efficiencies and enthusiasm when we return to work. What works for us on a personal level also works for us on a team level. An entire team or even an entire company can be sick, or chronically fatigued and be running on empty without really being aware of it, because this condition has become a part of their culture. There’s real ROI in taking sick days, or really ‘alternative days’, for a team or organization. It’s important to plan a meaningful break to recharge, gain new perspective, to recognize and address areas within a group’s culture that can be improved. A well planned, fun and productive team building program can go along way toward helping. Can you imagine the value of having your entire team back with the clarity and enthusiasm we feel as individuals, when we return from our own sick days? It could be inspiring.