While it may be your best intention to never miss a day of work when you have a bad cold or the flu, it may be in the best interest of all in your workplace that you do take some time off. If individuals continue to show up to work, it is possible to start a chain of illness that puts the entire workforce out for a sick day.

Here are some cold and flu questions to consider about missing work:

Contagious, Are You?

If you have a fever, a good rule of thumb is to stay out of work until the fever breaks for good. Viral or bacterial sickness can infect the rest of your workplace, causing a vicious cycle of missed work by you and everyone else.

Can You Do Your Job?

If you are ill, it can be difficult to perform your job tasks. It can also be dangerous to you and others if you can not perform your job safely. You have to use your judgment in such situations and decide if one missed day of work is better than injuring someone on the job. This is especially important if you are under the supervision of a doctor and must take medications that can influence your physical abilities and mental capabilities.

Are You Able to Rest?

If you work all day and tend to your family in the evenings after work hours, you may not be able to get the rest your body needs in order to recover from the illness. It may be best for your health and the welfare of co-workers to take a sick day and get the rest you need to get better and return to work in good form.

Do You Know the Rules?

While most employers prefer you show up every day for work as scheduled, sickness can not be prevented. Be sure you know the sick day policy and the protocol for proving time off for illness such as producing a doctor’s note for missing work hours.

Ideally, you need to do what is best for your health and recovery. Remember also that in the event you do come down with a cold or the flu, it is wise to never misuse sick days to ensure you are covered.