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Poll: What do you do when you get sick while working on a project?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:54
SITE STAFF
Jun 22, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you do when you get sick while working on a project?".

This poll was originally submitted by Lauren DeAre. View the poll results »



 

Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:54
Member
German to English
+ ...
Keep on working ... Jun 22, 2011

I try to give myself flexibility on deadlines to allow for eventualities, and fortunately I haven't been struck down with anything nasty (touch wood). My work tends to be fairly short-term, too, such that I can take on less if I feel I'm coming down with something.

 

Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 21:54
English to French
+ ...
Other Jun 22, 2011

You mean "sick" or "sick"?
If I am sick but well enough to work, I continue working.
If I am unable to continue working on a long project, I arrange to take a little time off to get better and work full time + extra right afterwards.
If I realize I will not manage, I contact the client and we figure out something together.


 

Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:54
French to English
+ ...
Depends Jun 22, 2011

Depends very much on the nature of the illness. If it was just a cold or mild tummy bug I'd probably try and work through - the beauty of being freelance is that you can work in your pyjamas from a compfortable position after all! Plus whereas you might not venture out with a streaming nose/cough, you can still work from home if your head's still with it. However, I was unfortunate enough to get swine flu 18 months or so ago and that wiped me out completely; I had to cancel the job I'd just acce... See more
Depends very much on the nature of the illness. If it was just a cold or mild tummy bug I'd probably try and work through - the beauty of being freelance is that you can work in your pyjamas from a compfortable position after all! Plus whereas you might not venture out with a streaming nose/cough, you can still work from home if your head's still with it. However, I was unfortunate enough to get swine flu 18 months or so ago and that wiped me out completely; I had to cancel the job I'd just accepted and turn everything else down. I certainly wasn't in a fit state to try and rally colleagues round to help. I could barely focus on the computer screen! I ended up taking four weeks off and struggled for a further two before I was fully back to normal. Horrible - I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy!Collapse


 

Odile Breuvart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:54
Member (2006)
English to French
+ ...
Quality Jun 22, 2011

My main sickness is migraines. I have worked sick many times as long as manageable, I always place my health first. Most of the time my client is understanding. They prefer giving me an extra day to deliver quality as they know that is what I aim to achieve.

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:54
English to German
+ ...
In memoriam
Other - notify the client and have qualified colleagues ready Jun 22, 2011

This is the least I can do. No way that I would let a client down. It only happened 2 or 3 times so far - and the clients were always glad and everyone was happy.

Your clients will appreciate this kind of professionalism.


 

Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:54
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Usually keep working Jun 22, 2011

I can only think of one time when I was so sick that I had to renege on a job. I suddenly came down with the flu in the middle of a project and was so feverish and groggy that I couldn't keep going. I alerted the client and arranged for a trusted colleague to finish the job.

Most of the time, even if I'm sick I can focus well enough to finish any jobs that I've already accepted. I've noticed, though, that now that I'm freelancing from home and am not around people very much during t
... See more
I can only think of one time when I was so sick that I had to renege on a job. I suddenly came down with the flu in the middle of a project and was so feverish and groggy that I couldn't keep going. I alerted the client and arranged for a trusted colleague to finish the job.

Most of the time, even if I'm sick I can focus well enough to finish any jobs that I've already accepted. I've noticed, though, that now that I'm freelancing from home and am not around people very much during the day, I don't come down with colds very often.

[Edited at 2011-06-22 09:12 GMT]
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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Work while sick Jun 22, 2011

As long as humanly possible. It depends on how you define "sick". Like many ex-pats, I used to have terrible hangovers on a regular basis but usually managed to soldier on regardless...

Once, when halfway through an important job for one regular client, I had a motorcyle accident and was hospitalised. They operated on a double wrist fracture using local anaesthetic which meant that within an hour of surgery I was able to eat and sit up. I called the client and they brought me a lapt
... See more
As long as humanly possible. It depends on how you define "sick". Like many ex-pats, I used to have terrible hangovers on a regular basis but usually managed to soldier on regardless...

Once, when halfway through an important job for one regular client, I had a motorcyle accident and was hospitalised. They operated on a double wrist fracture using local anaesthetic which meant that within an hour of surgery I was able to eat and sit up. I called the client and they brought me a laptop to the hospital, so I was able to finish the work over the next few... for 4-5 hours or so using my unbroken left hand (I am right handed). The client is still with me, one of my best.
Later that night, the local wore off and it was excruciating, though... and in these conditions I couldn't have done anything remotely resembling work.

Last summer I was on a course of quite debilitating medication for a liver problem with many unpleasant side effects and was unable to spend much time in the sunlight, so I passed the time by working on a large volume veterinary translation. Translating is not really an activity that requires much physical effort, so as long as my fingers, bones, muscles, eyesight, and especially the brain, keep on working, then so will I...

On the other hand, if I weren't my own boss, and worked for a company or the government, I'd be more likely to "pull a sickie" at the drop of a hat, as I'd likely see that as a perk of the job



[Edited at 2011-06-22 09:17 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-06-22 09:19 GMT]
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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:54
Member (2006)
German to English
Ask for an extension Jun 22, 2011

depending on how urgent the work is. Otherwise, keep on working. If I am really down, then I prefer to take a days break, irelevant of the deadline as my health is more important than a deadline. Has only happend once yet and there were no problems as we are not machines and if our health gets worse because you dont have a bit of a rest, you may need to take much more time off.

 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Less complicated to just keep working. Jun 22, 2011

I've worked through colds, gallstone pain, shoulder pain, sciatic pain and a long list of etceteras.

Arranging for a deadline extension probably wouldn't be too difficult, but I've found it's better to keep a stiff upper lip and trudge on. Delaying a deadline has a domino effect. If I deliver the job later, I invoice it later, which means I get paid later. It's like turning a 30-day month into a 35- or 40-day month.

I tried being on government paid sick leave last mon
... See more
I've worked through colds, gallstone pain, shoulder pain, sciatic pain and a long list of etceteras.

Arranging for a deadline extension probably wouldn't be too difficult, but I've found it's better to keep a stiff upper lip and trudge on. Delaying a deadline has a domino effect. If I deliver the job later, I invoice it later, which means I get paid later. It's like turning a 30-day month into a 35- or 40-day month.

I tried being on government paid sick leave last month (I'm in a Socialist country); however, when I realized I was only going to be compensated in a month for what I normally earn in 4 or 5 days of work, I decided it was better to bite the bullet and keep working. I have a contingency fund for situations like this, although I try to avoid using it and it's certainly not bottomless.
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Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:54
German to English
+ ...
Other - a combination Jun 22, 2011

Interlangue wrote:

You mean "sick" or "sick"?
If I am sick but well enough to work, I continue working.
If I am unable to continue working on a long project, I arrange to take a little time off to get better and work full time + extra right afterwards.
If I realize I will not manage, I contact the client and we figure out something together.


It's much the same with me. If I'm well enough to keep working, I generally do. If I were unable to work and couldn't meet a deadline, I'd contact the customer to see if were possible to get an extension or find some other solution, but that has never happened.


 

Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:54
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
continued working Jun 22, 2011

A couple of winters ago I was working on a smallish project when I was hit with a horrible stomach flu. For a couple of days I did nothing but sleep. The other problem was that it involved a restaurant menu so just looking at it made me queasy. However, it was a small project and I'd already started so I was luckily able to finish it once I felt a bit better. I turned down any other jobs for a couple of days. For some reason, I've found that when I do get sick, which isn't really that often, it ... See more
A couple of winters ago I was working on a smallish project when I was hit with a horrible stomach flu. For a couple of days I did nothing but sleep. The other problem was that it involved a restaurant menu so just looking at it made me queasy. However, it was a small project and I'd already started so I was luckily able to finish it once I felt a bit better. I turned down any other jobs for a couple of days. For some reason, I've found that when I do get sick, which isn't really that often, it seems to coincide with a slow work period...I don't have to turn anything down or work when sick. I don't know why that happens! If I just have a cold, I could certainly keep working...but if it was the flu or the Swine flu, I'd just skip it for a few days. No point working if you're so sick that you'll do a lousy job.Collapse


 

vixen  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 22:54
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Other Jun 22, 2011

Interlangue wrote:

You mean "sick" or "sick"?
If I am sick but well enough to work, I continue working.
If I am unable to continue working on a long project, I arrange to take a little time off to get better and work full time + extra right afterwards.
If I realize I will not manage, I contact the client and we figure out something together.


Couldn't have said it any better myself.


 

Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:54
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Other Jun 22, 2011

I am rarely sick. I have never been sick enough to totally stop working. I may work slower, but still enough to manage the deadlines, provided I have kept some time margin.
If I were too sick to work, I guess I would try the deadline extension option, and if not possible, request help from colleagues.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:54
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Other Jun 22, 2011

It would be a combination of asking for an extended deadline, requesting help from a qualified and available colleague, continue to work if that is possible - which it is in most cases of sickness.

Or, as in my present situation after hand surgery, I've inform the clients a forehand, then finished the current project, and still be online - one-handed.


 
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