Solving the Sick Admin’s Dilemma

Jun 27, 2013 | Procedures

Sick Admins Dilemma

This article was updated on July 8, 2015

Administrative professionals keep their executives, departments, and many times even the entire company running smoothly. They are office super heroes who can balance board meetings, lunch conferences, and employees’ birthdays all while fixing the copy machine and answering the phone. Yet, despite these administrative super powers, every so often admins fall prey to a formidable and unavoidable foe: sickness.

Getting sick is inevitable for anyone with an immune system, and the stress and pressure of being an admin often makes you even more susceptible. But what happens to your executive and office when you get sick? What will they do in your absence? Many of you may feel the need to go in anyway because you feel guilty about leaving the work to someone else or stress because of a potential backlog. Don’t. You’re entitled to sick (and recovery!) time just as much as anyone else in the office, and with the right planning, you can prepare your executive and team to carry on while you’re away. Here’s how to solve the sick admin’s dilemma.

  1. Create and regularly update your administrative procedures binder. Administrative procedures are the key to keeping everyone on track when you’re away from the office. An administrative procedures binder is a valuable resource for you, your executive, and the people who fill in for you that explains, in detail, how to do the various tasks of your job. If you don’t already have an administrative procedures binder, get started on it today. If you have one, make sure to regularly update it as your responsibilities change and evolve.
  2. Investigate telework options. If you really have to get work done when you’re sick, doing it from home, especially when you’re contagious, is a much better option that going into the office. (Your coworkers will certainly appreciate it!) Thanks to technology, working from home is easier than ever. However, you should ask whether your company has specific tools, directions, or guidelines for employees working remotely before you take advantage of the option.
  3. Compile a list of contact information. You should have a contact list of phone numbers and/or emails of all the important people, not just your executive, who’ll need to know about your absence. Make sure you have a copy of this list at home and in your administrative procedures binder.

Being sick is a miserable experience, but it doesn’t have to be compounded with stress or guilt about missing work. Prepare yourself, your executive, and those you work with in advance, and you’ll be able to focus on what’s really important: getting better!

© 2015 Julie Perrine International, LLC


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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at

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