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WFH makes people healthier part 2

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If you haven’t read part one you might want to read it now.

Once a friend told me she was asked to come in for a team meeting by her boss. She works 100% remotely. Now of course you can do that, but the problem is that she had a doctor’s appointment scheduled and it is hard to get – if she cancels she will have to wait another 6 months for an important yearly checkup. The boss doesn’t know this, but she has the choice of either missing the meeting or losing her job. Not a real choice is it?

One of the things that people in power don’t think of is that while they can make meetings at their convenience in person, their subordinates are not free to do so. This can ruin the plans of people who normally are remote and don’t expect to have to reschedule their schedule. Remote workers’ expectations change just because they are remote.

Now I can hear many people saying “tough cookies.” If that is your attitude towards others personal time then that is unfortunate for you. People still have to take care of themselves, and the costs of health insurance go up when workers are unhealthy. To me, if I was concerned about low insurance health premiums I would have a special consideration that says that all in-person meetings are subject to not interfering with an established appointment. Then if the person is gone, record the meeting and follow up with them afterward.

The needs of the many are more important than the needs of the few, but the needs of the few also serve the needs of the many. You can not have a healthy company in which individuals are sick. Too often I have seen companies try to function and not care about their employee health and those employees leave and find companies that will be concerned about their health.

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I keep thinking of one company I worked at where one coworker was a hard worker and then got sick and died from cancer. All deaths are sad, but why I keep thinking of her is that her life was about work and she didn’t enjoy the limited time she had. How sad for her and I won’t make that same mistake.