A Modern Menace – Absenteeism at Work

Absenteeism: regular or intermittent absence from work which may either be habitual or intentional

A major problem for any company or business, absenteeism keeps employees out of the workplace and lowers productivity.  Although every employer anticipates that employees will miss a certain number of workdays, excessive absenteeism at work is a major issue.

Absenteeism results in lower productivity and, consequently, financial losses. If an employee leaves early from work regularly, this also falls under the category of absenteeism. The task of correction of absenteeism belongs to the management of the organization. The company policies regarding repeated absenteeism should be found in the employee handbook.

absenteeism at work

Causes of Absenteeism

  • Length of employment and the employee’s attitude:

Surveys have pointed out that the employees who are associated with a particular company for a considerable period of time are less likely to be found absent repeatedly. Also, senior employees who command higher positions within the company hierarchy also take very minimum unplanned leaves. The level of commitment of an employee can be well gauged from his or her attitude. Disengagement is also directly related to absenteeism.

  • Workplace relationships:

There are many instances when the employees site poor relations with superiors as a reason for choosing to stay away from work. Employees who are harassed by superiors or feel resentment towards their co workers may skip work to avoid uncomfortable or humiliating situations.

  • Depression and work pressure:

Absenteeism rate shoots up proportionately with rising work pressure- there are many employees who want to avoid the stressful situations of difficult meetings. Depression arising out of drug abuse or alcoholism is another major cause of absenteeism.

  • Illness and injuries:

The most common cause for absenteeism is injuries and illnesses- recurring medical conditions like asthma, back pain and musculoskeletal injuries are causes of both long and short term absences.

  • Job satisfaction:

Absenteeism may also result from lower job satisfaction. There are many people who like to do the same thing over and over for a long time while others get easily bored with the same work and same atmosphere. Thus such people search for other jobs or indulge in absenteeism to break the monotony. Thus the level of job satisfaction plays a key role in employee absenteeism at work.

Learn How to Address Absenteeism

Follow the Drug Free Worker blog for the ways to deal with Absenteeism. Our next post will explain how employers can best manage and prevent absenteeism. Contact Test Smartly Labs of Lawrence for more information about drug testing and employment.

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