Absenteeism in the Workplace: A Modern Menace

Absenteeism is commonly defined as the regular or intermittent absence from work which may either be habitual or intentional. This phenomenon can be a major problem for any company or business. Although every employer knows that employees will miss a certain number of work days, excessive absenteeism at work is a major issue.

Absenteeism can result in lower productivity and financial losses on top of that. Leaving early from work on a regular basis can also fall under the category of absenteeism. Company management should be primarily responsible for handling absenteeism. Company policies regarding repeated absenteeism should be located in the employee handbook.

Causes of Absenteeism

Length of employment and the employee’s attitude:

Studies have found that employees who are associated with a particular company for a considerable period of time are less likely to be frequently absent. Also, senior employees who have more responsibility within the company also take very minimum unplanned leaves. An employee’s commitment level can be gauged by his or her engagement and attitude. A disengaged employee is more likely to take unplanned leaves than an employee who is dedicated to their position and employer.

Workplace relationships:

Poor relationships, especially with superiors, is another reason for staying 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 where there is more pressure at work – there are many employees who want to avoid stressful situations. Depression due to drug abuse or alcoholism is another major cause of absenteeism.

Illness and injuries:

The most common cause of absenteeism is injury or illness. Recurring medical conditions like asthma, back pain, and musculoskeletal injuries can be the cause of both long and short-term absences.

Job satisfaction:

Absenteeism may also result from job dissatisfaction. Many people like to do the same thing every day for a long time while others get easily bored with the same work and atmosphere. Such people search for other jobs or indulge in absenteeism to break the monotony. Job satisfaction plays a key role in employee absenteeism at work.

There are many reasons an employee may be sporadically absent. Companies can protect themselves by having clear rules on absenteeism in the company handbook and by clearly communicating what is expected when an employee begins with the company. It’s important that employers set a clear expectation for their employees so there can be no confusion and no abuse of privileges. Additionally, if you are an employer that suspects absenteeism due to drug or alcohol abuse, contact Test Smartly Labs immediately for workplace drug testing options.

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