Is Cold and Flu Season Really to Blame for Absenteeism?

Posted on

October 14th, 2019


With the start of the fall season, many workforces are likely readying for the impending illnesses. Once one employee falls ill, it can feel like a domino effect for the remaining staff following suit as well. However, while illnesses are legitimate reasons for an unscheduled absence, employers need to make sure there aren’t other factors at play affecting employee attendance.

Underlying Causes of Absenteeism

The following are some of the most common root causes of absenteeism.


Adults are no less impervious to bullying than children in school. Not only that, but they’re just as likely to utilize the same solution—duck out to avoid the bully. Absenteeism can be a symptom of a much larger problem than intermittent attendance. Employers should encourage employees so they feel comfortable reporting harassment. In addition, keeping an open-door policy can help as shutting management away in an office can keep problems hidden until they boil over as unscheduled absences.

Poor Morale in the Workplace

No employee will want to come into work if the atmosphere is tense, combative, or dismissive. Employees that feel disrespected or like their employer doesn’t allow them to make decisions will rapidly decrease in productivity. Their drive and desire to come to work on time (if at all) will tank as well. Employers need to establish healthy work environments and create a company culture that allows employees to thrive. Recognizing performance, hosting workplace fun days or events, and so on can help boost morale.

Poor Flexibility

Employees have obligations at home that can make their work schedule seem insurmountable. Whether they are caring for an aging relative, an injured family member, or trying to get their children to school on time, employees can feel the strain of a traditional nine to five schedule. Offering flexible scheduling so employees can set their hours to better align with their lives can eliminate the need to call out to take care of responsibilities on the home front.

Stealing Minutes

While absenteeism usually means an unscheduled absence, it also encompasses employees arriving late, leaving early, or taking excessively long breaks. This time adds up and can affect other employees as well. Having a robust absence management system in place can give HR the tools they need to track these scheduling infractions to identify trends and rectify the problem swiftly.

If your workplace is struggling with absenteeism or other attendance problems, the experts at Actec can help. Contact us to learn how our absence reporting program can help your business.