I work as a software developer, working for a client that is invoiced by the company I'm employed at. Yesterday I got sick, symptoms being fever & nausea.
With fever, the general treatment is rest. One might argue that software development is not a physical task and that I should be good to go with over-the-counter medication, but as my job is rather stressful, it is a physical task. When I sit on my chair at work, my heart rate is about 50% higher, when compared to sitting at home.
One day of rest at home is what usually does it for me. By rest I mean that I sit at my computer, watching Netflix and sleeping as much as I can, which is not much. If I'm just slightly sick, I often just deal with it & go to work, but getting better takes forever, which is my body telling me that I need to rest.
When I'm sick, I obviously perform a lot worse, shipping bugs that take forever to fix, and I'm having trouble on getting any actual work done. The client gets billed for whenever I'm at work, so I feel like the ethical thing to do is to stay at home when I feel like my performance is subpar.
The thing is, as a software developer, I have personal projects, mostly to learn & experiment, and I've sometimes worked on these projects when home sick. Before calling me a hypocrite, hear me out.
Personal projects do not feel like work to me. There's no stress so my heart rate is about the same as when watching a movie on Netflix.
So, is it ethical do to what I do? The client doesn't pay for my sick day off, but my employer does. The employer doesn't get any € out of it, but I get better at what I do, which turns into € in the long run, for both me and my employer.
Edit: My personal project repositories are hosted publicly, anyone can see changes made to them with timestamps.