If you are a Downton fan like me you will have seen what happens when the staff at the big house get a cold. They get sent to bed and their food gets sent up to them. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it?
But how does that fit in with the rest of the labour conditions for the staff? They work all the hours that are required. They need to ask permission to go to the village. If they are asked to work on their time off, they always say yes. (I think theoretically they can say no but they never do).
So with all the advancements of employee rights through labour unions and changes in employment law, how is it that when we get a cold today, we keep on working?
We have a culture of “work through it”. Our productivity falls, we pass it on to our colleagues and their productivity falls too and it seems like we stay sick for longer.
What would happen if we rested when we got sick? Took the time to pause our busy lives and focus our attention on getting better? What if we took that one day to let our bodies do their job and heal?
Could we get back to action the next day feeling better, able to do our tasks and ready to face our challenges with a smile, instead of a grimace?
I say go try it. Next time you get sick, stay at home. Go to bed. Have a Downton marathon. Rest and heal.
Let us learn from the house mistress of Downton: if you want to keep your workers working hard, let them rest when they are sick.