It is becoming harder to take off a sick day

If you have a high temperature or are recovering from heart surgery, it is difficult to use machine tools. And if you are having a nervous breakdown, machine tools are best avoided. Sick days are the remedy. They are meant to prevent people from hurting themselves, their co-workers, customers or passers-by on the job. Working from home has flipped this logic on its head. If you can work from the kitchen table, today’s hybrid workers increasingly conclude, then why not from bed—so long as the brain is on and the Zoom camera off?

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The work-from-home revolution has raised the bar for what counts as being sick. At the height of the pandemic people worked from home even with nasty symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath or nausea. Many still do. Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University has been tracking…

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