Employee Absenteeism in Workplace: Effect, Causes & Solutions
Category: HR & Payroll, Posted on: 09/02/2021 , Posted By: Webtel
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An organization can be thought of as a jigsaw puzzle wherein each part has a designated place where it fits and helps complete the entire puzzle. Similarly, each employee is vital to a company’s day-to-day working and carries out their tasks and responsibilities in a manner that is beneficial to it. However, it is not uncommon to see some empty spaces in the office due to workers taking a day off.

This is a normal occurrence at any workplace as employees take leaves in accordance with the leave policy of the company and get them duly approved. Sometimes, an emergency may occur due to which the employee may take an off without giving prior notice. However, employee absenteeism is a different beast altogether.

What is meant by employee absenteeism?

To put it in plain words, absenteeism refers to a habitual or intentional absence of an employee from work. While it is alright for employees to avail their annual leaves, as is their right, excessive leave of absences can lead to decreased productivity and adversely hamper company finances.

Causes of Absenteeism

There are a number of reasons due to which people miss work. Some of them are:

  • Bullying and harassment:

  • If a worker is being harassed by his/her coworkers or his reporting manager, it can lead to employees calling in sick to avoid confrontation or the situation.

  • Burnout, stress, and low moral:

  • Sometimes employees have to deal with stress which can be due to office workload, or outside of work. Also, feeling unappreciated at work can lead to decreased morale thereby leading to absenteeism.

  • Childcare and eldercare:

  • Employees sometimes may have to take a day off to take care of kids or any elders that are staying with them who may have fallen sick or their normal arrangements have gotten disrupted.

  • Disengagement:

  • Often time employees are not committed towards their work and glide through their day. These workers are more likely to miss work due to a lack of motivation.

  • Illness:

  • The most common reason given by workers for not reporting in is due to falling sick or having to go in for a medical appointment. Every year there’s a sharp increase in the number of workers taking a day off during the flu season.

  • Injuries:

  • Sometimes workers suffer injuries in the line of work when handling machinery, taking a tumble or developing neck ache/backache issues leading to absenteeism.

  • Job hunting:

  • A common reason for taking a day off is to go and attend job interviews, updating one’s resume or CV or visiting a headhunter.

How Can Employers Tackle Absenteeism?

Absenteeism is a tricky problem to handle due to there being both genuine and frivolous reasons for missing work. This makes it challenging for employers to effectively monitor, control and reduce absenteeism.

Employers can implement a number of initiatives to ensure that absenteeism at work does not become a significant issue for the management to tackle. These are as follows:

  • Physical health:

  • Firms can offer health insurance benefits to their employees through tying up with a health insurance provider.

  • Mental health

  • By conducting mental wellbeing seminars wherein employees can discuss their issues and creating a safe environment where it's encouraged to discuss any problems that they’re facing at either the workplace or their homes.

  • Work-home balance:

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, offices across the world implemented work from home policies across the board. This helped alleviate work-home life imbalances. Applying similar policies post-pandemic would help in creating a healthy work-home balance.

  • Financial health:

  • Firms also offer employees the option of availing low-interest loans and advances, early retirement benefits, etc.


By implementing these measures, firms would be able to create a healthy, motivated environment for employees where they look forward to coming to work leading to enhanced productivity and morale. These wellness programs may cost a bit to implement but their net effect would be positive and ultimately good for business.

HR Pearls is one such solution through which organizations can implement the above discussed measures through its extensive list of modules such as loan & advance application, income tax calculation, track subordinate attendance, leave application, etc.

If you want to read up on how installing a Payroll Management Solution can transform your business, click here.


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