Dealing with work when you are sick
Updated: Oct 28, 2021
I’m out of it
Ugh. Today I’m sick.
Like, hardly slept, feel like someone has slammed me in the face with a piece of timber, not fit for visible consumption for fear of scaring small children – sick.
I know becoming crook is just one of those life things, especially when the walking Petrie dishes known as children are floating around. However, it’s tough when you are also a business owner.
I thought while I was percolating, and since my fingers still work, I’d throw out some of my top QS-y tips on dealing with illness when you are also wearing the responsibility of being a business owner in the construction industry.
When you’re crook….
Hook yourself up with some sick leave. Nah Nah Nah seriously, I’m not pulling your leg. If you read these blogs you will have already seen the article about margin and what its supposed to cover…. So why not put in a week of extra paid leave for yourself to cover for when you get sick? It’s your show, you can put in for whatever you like when you are working out these numbers. Obviously you then make them stack up as you work out the turnover you need to maintain them… but it’s all just maths at the end of the day!
Jobs don’t just stop needing to be done just because you are unwell… and jobs mean revenue. So you need to have a game plan for if you are called away suddenly so the wheels can keep on turning. This kind of segways into ‘putting your business in a box’…. Something I’m a big advocate of. Effectively the term means you take the time to document how you do what you do, so if you were to fall off the planet, or decide to sell your business, you have the IP (intellectual property) written down and this includes HOW you do what you do. So is the game plan that you send one email outlining everything to your second in command in the morning and they deal with it from there? Change your voicemail advising people you are unwell and to text you or ring your 2IC? Put an out of office on your email? Make sure your team know what happens when you are crook so they can step up and keep things moving forward.
Bottom line is don’t not communicate. Don’t just drop out of existence. Even if you have your head down the loo, dictate an email to your better half to send, or ask your kids to text someone for you to put ‘the plan’ in motion. The amount of builders I have seen that ghost their clients for a week or two with no explanation is shocking…. You want to make sure at the end of the day you keep those relationships going and those clients in the loop, because if they think you are just ignoring them then they will NOT be singing your praises to others.
Final note… watch out for burnout. Its real and its ugly. If I knew ten years ago what I should have been doing to take care of myself I would have made sure NOT to work all hours under the sun and stress myself to the max. The toll stress can take on the body long term is really epic and super hard to undo.