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How Companies Can Deal With “Sickies”

It is fair to say that most employees have pulled a “sickie” at one point or another during their working lives. These contrived excuses are occupational folklore as they generally involve wannabee absentees putting in Oscar worthy performances down the phone while they relay convoluted stories of malady and woe with some nicely timed coughs here and there.

But why is this? Why do some people feel the need to give work a miss when others are diligently working away?

Well, there are a number of reasons.

In general, people who feel inclined to call in sick when they are not really unwell are either bored at work, depressed, or have more pressing things to deal with such as personal issues or family matters. In addition, some Machiavellian absentees also take time off if they feel they have been working too hard.

Whilst some of these reasons may seem valid in certain circumstances, the truth is that unnecessary workplace absenteeism can have a very detrimental effect on employers. After all, it is employers who have to foot the bill of getting in a temp or paying other employees extra money to cover absent workers.

Of course, it’s not just in the coffers where unnecessary absences can have a negative effect. They can also cause staff morale to suffer too, as reliable employees will soon get fed up with having to pull up the slack of those who individuals who are sitting in their pyjamas watching telly at home while they slave away in the office.

So what is the answer? How can companies deal with this potentially debilitating problem? Well, the solution is actually very simple – have up-to-date working practices.

As established earlier, most employees go missing for a day or two because they feel the need to have a break from the monotony of work. Therefore, the answer lies in nipping this monotony in the bud. The best way for companies to do this is to adopt more flexible working patterns, such as flexi-hours and working from home for part of the week. Working in this way provides employees with some much needed variety and therefore makes it easier for them to remain engaged in their work. This in turn helps to keep them motivated and, in the long term, reduces the likelihood of them feeling the need to take a few unsolicited days off.

Of course, companies that adopt this approach will need to amend their staff handbooks as well individual workers’ employment contracts. Fortunately, all of the document templates needed to do this are available in our Employment Document Folder here on the Simply-Docs website. In fact, we have everything from full and part-time contract templates to staff handbook policy templates available for immediate download, so any company that is looking to upgrade its working practices can rest assured they will be able to do so in double-quick time when they come to us.

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