Staff absenteeism is one of the most costly issues facing employers in the modern workplace. Absenteeism is defined commonly as an unscheduled, deliberate or routine absence from the workplace by employees. According to a new study by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), people who regularly take days off are costing the UK economy billions each year, with the toll set to rise considerably over the next decade and potentially rising to £26bn by 2030. The report also found that mental health issues are affecting 30-40 year olds who have to juggle various things such as home life, financial constraint and pressures from their day jobs and respective careers. Another recent study by AXA PPP healthcare found that over a third of employees living with a mental health condition (39 percent) are not open about it in the workplace. These findings highlight a clear disconnect between how employees are feeling and what their employers understand to be their state of mind.
These are not statistics that can be ignored and whilst we may never get to the point of a 100% open and honest dialogue between employers and employees, there are many steps that companies and workplace managers can take to mitigate against the damage of workplace absenteeism.
For example, many organisations are taking corporate wellness programs seriously and are thinking of ways in which to boost and improve wellness. Google for example has established a People & Innovation Lab to carry out research and development within its People Operations. The company is particularly interested in finding unique ways to improve the health of its employees.
Of course, not all employees who take sick days are genuinely ill. One common assumption is that employees skip work to relax and do nothing; however this is not always the case. An employee could instead be looking to free up time for ‘life admin’, childcare or other household activities.
Excerpt from Workplace Insight, read the full article here