Illness And Silicon Valley

I worked from home for a day because I took rather ill.  What’s odd is I could deal with the mild nausea and weakness of what’s going around – I was worried about infecting my teams.

In many jobs I’ve had there’s always one or two patient zeroes, people who come in when sick and end up infecting everyone.  There are the inevitable statements by managers that yes, if sick, work from home, that are then promptly ignored.

Then everyone gets sick.

So I had a few thoughts:

First, despite the ability to work from home, many people forget they can do it.  It’s kind of automatic.

Secondly, people worry working from home looks lazy.  This is probably subconscious, but is still an issue.

Third, I don’t think the statements by many a manager to stay home have settled in for many people.  Which is kind of weird when you think about.

I think those of us in technical fields need to rethink how we handle illness, sick days, and so forth.  We need to do so because right now it’s hard to effectively manage the issue.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at