When a significant number of employees begin to call out of work or a single employee incurs an abnormal number of unscheduled absences, most businesses know their first step to rectifying the issue is to identify the cause. Stress outside of the workplace, unpleasant managers, and more can contribute to employee absenteeism. However, with COVID-19, businesses already know the why. The pandemic has changed everything about “business as usual” and absence management is no exception.
Companies can take the following actions to manage COVID-related absences in a compassionate, reasonable way:
- Update attendance policies. Businesses will need to create new guidelines that are fair to the staff as well as the company. Pre-COVID policies will fall short of reality and create confusion for employees. Most policies will likely require increased flexibility to allow employees to comply with self-quarantine guidelines should they fall ill or experience COVID-19 symptoms.
- Plan for absences. Unlike other forms of absenteeism, companies know with a reliable degree of certainty that COVID-19 will cause significant absences in the coming months. Staggering office workers’ schedules or cycling employees in rotating groups can help stop the spread of workplace illnesses. Hiring temporary workers can also help bridge the gap while employees stay home until they’re healthy.
- Consider long-term remote options. Several states began phased reopening procedures, which included bringing many employees back into an office setting. However, while some jobs can’t happen in a remote environment, many employees can remain productive from home. Businesses also need to consider that many employees are afraid of falling ill by returning to the office. Many others have children at home with no childcare options or high-risk family members living with them. For a variety of reasons, many employees may want and need the option to continue working from home.
- Track absences accurately. COVID-19 added a new layer of difficulty when it comes to keeping track of leave requests. With many employees still working either entirely or partially from home, keeping track of who is absent, tardy, or requesting paid leave is more challenging than ever. Investing in an absence management mobile app can give businesses the flexibility they need to keep absenteeism in check during these unusual times.
Actec understands the difficulties businesses are encountering due to COVID-19. Our absence tracking mobile app allows companies to capture all attendance data, receive absence notifications, and identify attendance trends. Contact us to learn how we can help your business manage employee absences through the pandemic and beyond.