Absenteeism in the workplace if not addressed could adversely affect company’s finances and productivity. This is why it is important for companies to act on absenteeism even before it affects its business. Any company could not stay afloat if without the efforts of its workers. A company that is dealing with absenteeism of employees is very much likely to suffer from several consequences like loss of profit, decreased productivity, and compromised morale of the workforce.
Absenteeism develops a poor working environment and atmosphere. According to several studies, absenteeism could affect the office’s morale, productivity, and finances. There are various reasons why employees develop habitual absenteeism, and it is important to know and understand these factors to determine the root cause of the problem. Below is a list of the most common reasons of absenteeism in the corporate world.
1. Harassment and discrimination– Individuals who experience harassment and/or discrimination in the workplace are very much less likely to feel motivated to report to work as often as possible. These employees may drag their feet into the office just for the sake of not losing their job and not because they love the working environment their office has. This is why companies should have solid and effective policies regarding harassment and discrimination to prevent such issue from happening – in addition to avoiding lawsuits that the victims may claim.
2. Stress and burnout– There could be dozens of reasons why an employee may feel stressed and burnout, including lack of appreciation by superiors and co-workers, unbearable and unrealistic workloads, office gossips, and flawed office policies. Needless to say, stressed employees are more likely to commit absenteeism because they lack the motivation and inspiration to be productive, much more to report to work regularly.
3. Depression– Depression is one of the leading causes of absenteeism in developed nations like United States, Australia, Japan, and United Kingdom. Depressed employees are likely to perform poorly at work and lose motivation to report to work as often as they are expected to. This is why employers should not ignore depression as a major issue because it could adversely affect their employees and business operation due to absenteeism.
4. Family issues– Employees who are new parents are expected to excuse themselves from work more often than non-parent workers. This is the same with employees who have family members suffering from serious illnesses, and employees who are facing tough family problems. In order to avoid absenteeism brought about by family issues, businesses should have solid support system for their employees undergoing such problems.
5. Health complications and injuries– Health problems are among the leading causes of absenteeism in the workplace. Employees who are suffering from minor to major illnesses are less likely to report to work as often as possible. Employees who are suffering from injuries are likely to do the same. This is why companies should invest on quality office furniture including ergonomic chairs, office desk, workstations, and equipment. Companies should likewise invest on regular medical examinations to detect illnesses of employees before they become more serious.
Absenteeism is not a trivial issue; its root causes can be extensive and relative. There several factors to consider when addressing this issue, including effectiveness of paid leave system in the office, workers’ health, workers’ motivation and morale, workers’ salary rate, office ergonomics, human resources, and company policies.
A company that is suffering from the consequences of absenteeism should first know why employees are missing work. From there, policies and guidelines should be implemented to prevented determined causes from developing a culture of absenteeism. If employees are missing work because of back pain and injury, then probably the best solution is to invest on better quality office furniture items such as chairs, office desk, tables, couches, filing cabinets, among others. If the employees who are always absent are the ones subjected to harassment, then improvements in the company policies regarding harassment should be done. Simply put, the best solution is: determine the root cause and act on it.