Unplanned absences from work don’t always find their cause in feeling ill. Cited in an article by Diane Stafford of the Kansas City Star, one-third of workdays suddenly skipped are due to reasons such as running errands, needing to relax, or just simply because individuals “‘didn’t feel like going to work.’”
An important point made in the article surrounds the topic of stress and this issue of “presenteeism” where an employee shows up to work but is too drained to perform well in his or her job that day.
For the SHRM, Kathy Gurchiek writes that “twenty-five percent [of workers surveyed] … said sick days were just extra vacation days and they treated them as such … [and] some people see sick days as ‘mental health days.’”
As a result it’s important for employers to keep in mind the mental and physical well-being of their employees in addition to their PTO policy and sick -leave in general. December is the month when most employees take an unplanned day off. But is this simply due to the cold and flu? Likely not. The weather is more gloomy, it’s dark, it’s cold, holiday shopping needs to be done, parties need to be organized or attended, and so on.
As a business leader or HR professional do you find these numbers surprising at all? What do you think needs to be communicated to employees?
Image courtesy of user MissMessie via Flickr Creative Commons.