Skip to content


Work with a critical illness

Keep managing your business when you are critically ill.

On this page

  • Strategies to manage your business when critically ill

Strategies to deal with a critical illness

Develop day-to-day strategies to help you stay positive, to deal with the stress of having a critical illness.

Adjust your working environment:

  • write down your goals at the beginning of each week 
  • keep track of daily tasks
  • delegate tasks to key staff members
  • arrange a flexible working environment that includes working from home
  • if you're working normal business hours, schedule treatment at times which best suit you
  • ask for text message reminders about appointments to be sent to your mobile
  • make sure you schedule rest periods throughout your day and do essential business tasks at times when you have the most energy
  • check with your doctor about what you should be eating and drinking at work, and if you should be exercising.

Communicate effectively to staff:

  • decide how much information you want to share with your staff
  • let your staff know to keep the information confidential and within the workplace, or whether they can extend it to their families and/or customers
  • be prepared for staff to react in different ways — some people will be totally supportive and offer to do anything they can to help, others may withdraw
  • consider encouraging staff to make suggestions as to how the business can continue to operate effectively throughout this challenging time.

Get more out of your meetings:

  • arrange face-to-face meetings at your desk to conserve energy
  • be prepared for meetings by listing points you want to discuss
  • consider having a support person with you for important meetings
  • spend time writing up key points immediately following an important meeting.

Take care of yourself:

  • consider getting some ongoing, professional grief counselling
  • set aside regular times to meditate
  • find a mentor who has recovered from a critical illness
  • keep your daily routine as simple as you can, and take it one step at a time.

Case Study: Working with a serious illness

'Only take on what you know you can do in times of business stress sharing the load is better than relying on one person.'

Read more about Working with a serious illness 

Business owner, Sam-working with a serious illness