The pandemic created numerous complications regarding employee attendance. Many companies shifted to a 100% remote workforce at the outset of the pandemic. Some of these companies are back in the office full time, while others are using a hybrid approach. Regardless, the pandemic upended traditional scheduling and made tracking employee attendance more challenging.
Employers can implement the following to improve attendance during COVID-19:
- Highlight the importance of employees’ roles. If employees don’t see how their job plays a part in the bigger picture, they won’t see how missing a day of work now and then is a problem. When every employee adopts that line of thinking, a company quickly develops an absenteeism issue. This becomes a greater challenge when employees work from home. Employers should explain that every employee’s attendance is critical to achieving company goals, providing superior service, and not overburdening coworkers with extra work.
- Define clear notice requirements. Attendance policies should be clear on how much notice an employee needs to provide for an absence. Otherwise, employees are likely to wait until the last minute to discuss it. While some absences are truly last-minute, such as a sudden illness, employees should give ample notice for known future appointments.
- Create a policy for reporting unforeseen absences. Without a clear policy, employees may think they can miss work without an explanation until the following day. This creates confusion and hinders productivity. Employers should explain how and when employees need to report unexpected absences (i.e., by phone, email, or text as soon as the employee can reasonably do so). Employees working from home may not understand how waiting until the next day to explain their absence matter since they aren’t in an office environment.
- Clarify paid leave policies. Employers need to explain that employees can’t treat their paid leave as automatic approval for taking time off work. Employees need to understand how absence reporting and notification policies interact with paid leave policies to avoid labor gaps and productivity problems. This is particularly important in a remote environment as employees working from home may not realize they need approval before leaving in the middle of work hours.
Ambiguous attendance policies create a breeding ground for absenteeism. Providing clear guidelines helps ensure employees follow protocols when requesting leave or notifying employers of their absence. To learn more about managing attendance, contact the experts at Actec.
Accurate timekeeping is a challenging but necessary task for businesses. Companies need to know when employees are absent to identify trends as well as remain compliant with federal leave laws. Without a centralized system, many employers have no idea if all of their employees came to work or not. Having an attendance system also allows businesses to process payroll in a timely manner, adhere to labor laws, calculate savings, and more.
COVID-19 has added a new layer of complexity to tracking absences as many businesses still have a fully or partially remote workforce. Having a mobile attendance system can help eliminate confusion and deliver a number of benefits. Some of the leading advantages of remote absence management technology include:
- Accurate and complete attendance hours. Without a mobile attendance system, employees have to call in anytime they need to take time off work. This often routes through their manager who then informs HR or via some other convoluted system. By having a streamlined absence tracking mobile app, employees can submit leave requests from their phones.
- Proof of regulatory compliance. Having an automated mobile solution for absence tracking allows businesses to show they comply with the numerous regulations that govern working hours and leave requests.
- Provides value to employees. Many businesses choose absence management systems that reduce costs or improve their bottom line. However, they should also keep their employees in mind when implementing new technology. Absence tracking mobile apps are self-service systems that remove the need for employees to contact HR or management about submitting leave requests. Many of these apps provide useful information to employees as well such as their accrued sick leave or remaining paid time off (PTO).
- Offers multiple channels to submit leave requests. The best absence tracking mobile apps offer multiple options for employees to submit leave requests to match their comfort level. Actec’s mobile app offers telephonic, text, chat, and mobile channels for submitting absence information.
- Identify absence trends. Without accurate absence tracking, businesses don’t have a clear picture of employee attendance. A mobile app provides clear data on absences and highlights trends such as absenteeism or frequent tardiness. The data can also show whether there is an absenteeism problem with an individual employee or a particular department. Knowing that information allows company leadership to choose the best approach to the problem.
COVID-19 forced many businesses to transition to a remote workforce. With little time to prepare, tracking absences and leave requests is more challenging than ever. Actec’s absence tracking mobile app is a simple, self-service tool that delivers absence notifications to a centralized location. Contact us to learn how we can help your business’ absence reporting needs.
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.