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Employee Absenteeism: Why It Happens and How to Handle It

Absenteeism in the workplace impacts the bottom line and the productivity of other workers, too. Your employees’ tasks are linked to each other. When one doesn’t finish their tasks on time, the rest of the team and company suffer. Absenteeism is an employee being habitually and frequently absent from work outside of paid leaves and on special occasions such as their birthday.

Employee Absenteeism

Being absent occasionally because of grief, sickness, jury duty, and special occasions in the family is not strange. But when the employee is absent despite availing of the paid leaves, that should concern you. When it becomes excessive, absenteeism can create a problem at work. It would help if you addressed it.

Repetitive Illnesses

Absenteeism doesn’t mean that your employees are slacking off at work. It might also mean they are dealing with something serious about their health. Your office might be triggering their allergies. Are you noticing a trend among your employees? It would help to consider that your office or store might be the culprit for your employees’ allergies flaring up.

When was the last time you had your air ducts inspected? An HVAC contractor should give you a routine maintenance schedule and checklist to have your heating and cooling systems cleaned. You might aggravate your employees’ allergies if you cannot remember the last time you thoroughly maintained this system.

Bullying and Harassment

Employees bullied and harassed at work would rather stay home to avoid unpleasant encounters. Most employers would be shocked to find out what happens in the office among their employees. Please ensure you are aware of these situations because they can lead to declining mental health, and workplace bullying is legal. Nip this in the bud and tell your employees you will not tolerate bullying.

Stress and Burnout

Are you overworking your employees? Of course, you are not the sole reason employees get stressed and burned out at work. The reason can be personal, too, but it helps to ask yourself how you’re treating your employees. If you make them work until past dinnertime, you contribute to their misery. Call the attention of the employees you feel are exhausted from work. Giving them some time off is okay because they will return and be more productive at work.


It pays to know about your employees’ personal lives. For example, if your employee is a caregiver to an older family member, they will sometimes have to be absent from work because their care arrangements fell through. It’s the same thing when your employees have a baby in the family. They have to prioritize their kids’ welfare, so they may not be as focused on going to work physically. However, that is no reason to fire them. You can let them work remotely if they are still productive and meet their deadlines.

Mental Health Problems

Don’t think you cannot do anything for employees who suffer from mental health problems. Unless they turn violent in the workplace, they should continue working there. You can ensure the office environment is conducive to productivity, camaraderie, and openness. Employees should feel that discussing their mental health problems with their co-workers is okay.

Low Morale

Employees may also be unmotivated to go to work. If they feel undervalued and unappreciated, they will not feel the urge or motivation to work and prove themselves. Experts have always emphasized the need for employers to boost their employees’ morale. Many of them think their work is unimportant, so they don’t even try to do it well anymore. Call their attention. If you find out that low morale is the problem, show them what good things they’ve done in the past and how your company wouldn’t have survived without them in it.

There is a reason why employees are suddenly absent from work, especially those who were previously responsible enough to come on time. Unless the problem is they’re partying too much and simply being irresponsible, employers can find a way to fix these issues. Remember that companies are more practical to retain employees rather than recruit new ones. You can save thousands of dollars just by addressing these problems early on.

Jeremy D. Mena
Alcohol geek. Future teen idol. Web practitioner. Problem solver. Certified bacon guru. Spent 2002-2009 researching plush toys in Miami, FL. Won several awards for exporting tar in Libya. Uniquely-equipped for managing human growth hormone in Libya. Spent a weekend implementing fried chicken on the black market. Spoke at an international conference about working on carnival rides in Miami, FL. Developed several new methods for donating jack-in-the-boxes in Edison, NJ.