The High Price of Missing Work

Oct 18, 2002
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A new survey says that the cost of absenteeism rose almost 5% this year to $789 per employee, reports the Crain’s Chicago Business web site.

The study, conducted by CCH Inc. of Riverswood, Illinois, also discovered that only one out of three who missed work were ill. Most took the day off to deal with a variety of personal needs. This is the 12th time CCH, a tax and business law information company, has conducted the survey.

Two of the reasons that employees skipped work were because of stress and the feeling that they deserved to take a day. Not surprisingly, the survey found that higher morale in the workplace led to lower absenteeism.

Lori Rosen, workplace analyst, CCH said, “I think the most surprising thing, though, is that of the employers surveyed, 83% believed there’s nothing they can do about [absenteeism]. They don’t seem to think they have control over whether or not people show up.”

Moderator’s Comment: What can businesses do to cut
down on employee absenteeism?

Creating an environment that people want to work in is
certainly a good start. Beyond that, CCH recommended that employers use programs
such as paid leave banks to reduce time out of work. Lori Rosen said, “With
a paid leave bank, for instance, a worker can say, ‘I need two hours off a week
from Thursday, but I’ll work an extra hour on Monday and Thursday to make up
for it.’ ” [George
Anderson – Moderator

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