Madalyn Parker, a web developer in Ann Arbor, MI, made headlines last month after she shared a screenshot of an email she sent to her colleagues about taking a few sick days.
“I’m taking today and tomorrow to focus on my mental health,” she wrote. “Hopefully I’ll be back next week refreshed and back to 100%.”
Ben Congleton, her boss and the CEO of the software company, Olark, replied: “I wanted to personally thank you for sending emails like this. Every time you do, I use it as a reminder of the importance of using sick days for mental health — I can’t believe this is not standard practice at all organizations.”
Calling in Sick Can Be Complicated
Congleton is right — most companies are lightyears away from embracing candid asks from employees when it comes to sick days, for mental health or otherwise.
Americans are terrible at taking vacation days for a variety of reasons. Some can’t afford to take the days off; others are too scared to ask and want to look driven; and still others feel like they have way too much work to get done. However, asking for a day off when you’re sick can be harder to put …read more