Have you ever heard of “seasonal absence syndrome?” It is a common occurrence for many businesses. During certain seasons of the year, businesses typically experience a high number of unplanned absences. However, traditional businesses don’t work like the mail system. Their workers don’t come in in snow, rain, sleet. While the absences may seem sudden, they typically follow a pattern. In fact, most businesses can predict when unplanned absences are going to occur.
In most cases, these abrupt absences follow distinct patterns. During certain times of the year, inclement weather is typical. Virtually every season causes distractions and sicknesses. Believe it or not, a keen business can determine when this epidemic is going to hit. As a result, the HR department can better prepare for cases of limited employee availability.
A smart solution is to implement a flex work system. With this in place, any business can avoid these predictable disruptions in overall productivity.
Unpredictable Absenteeism Results in Unexpected Business Costs
When an employee can request time off in advance, everyone else on the team can make sure the absence is covered. It also provides the worker time to get things done early, before leaving. However, if unplanned absences become a regular occurrence, they can undercut the collaborative process. As a result, productivity suffers. When employees are absent without notice, it can result in work not getting done. This can cause businesses to start missing deadlines. It may also result in delays in completing a project, and slower response times.
Even returning to work after only a few days off can result in delays. Several adverse consequences might occur. When the worker returns, they have to adjust their routine for a while. They also have to handle work they missed during their time off. This further hinders productivity.
Some businesses attempt to reduce unplanned absenteeism. One method is to offer incentives for those who come to work regularly. However, if a person comes in sick, this also results in a drop in productivity. The sick individual may spread their germs to others, too. This is not a smart way to combat unplanned absences.
Predicting Absences and Increasing Productivity
Emergencies happen. Unavoidable events occur. However, many unexpected absences follow a seasonal and predictable pattern.
- When the weather changes in fall, it is the start of flu season. Workers or their kids are often ill. This is also the kick-off to the holiday season, which results in people taking off for various reasons.
- During the summer, workers are tempted to take off to enjoy the warm weather or to go on vacation.
- Seasonal changes can cause illnesses in the spring. It is the start of sinus season for some.
- During the winter, icy roads can make workers remain home.
Each of these seasonal changes results in businesses trying to come up with innovative solutions to ensure quotas are met. They also have to find ways to help maintain productivity and motivate employees to show up at work. However, what appears as unplanned absences are predictable circumstances. Any business can plan for these. With a flexible work policy in place, they can feel confident that productivity can remain high.
Creating a Flexible Scheduling Plan
When you implement a flex work policy, you can handle unplanned absences. Flexible working schedules implement several techniques that ensure employees still get tasks done. When this plan is implemented, you can often avoid employees missing time at work completely. Here are some ideas:
- Provide mobile work arrangements that allow employees to work while on the go.
- Let employees go if they want to remain outdoors. Workers are often more motivated when working next to the pool.
- Teleworking is a great option for employees with sick kids.
- Sick employees can also work via teleworking while ill.
- If there are adverse weather conditions, workers can remain home while still handling their work.
If you plan on implementing a flexible work plan, you can also implement a method to ensure shifts are covered at all times. Utilizing an employee availability system at this point is also beneficial. There is specific employee self-service software that all business employees can use. They can indicate days they are available for work, even if it isn’t their typical schedule. As a result, HR managers can easily see who to call if an unexpected absence occurs. This ensures work is covered and productivity doesn’t slip.
Is a Flex Work Right for Your Business?
This is a question you need to consider carefully. While it may seem like a difficult change at first, this is typically not the case. When employees know they have flexibility in their day to day schedule, it provides more motivation. This results in increased productivity. Keeping employees happy is easy. Reducing unplanned absences is also possible. By implementing flexible working conditions, workers are going to get things done at work. They can still spend time doing things they enjoy, too. When you think about it, flexible working plans are a win-win for business owners, managers, and employees.
If you are ready to implement this scheduling option, having the right software is a must. It can make covering unplanned absences easier. This reduces the work for the HR department. It can also help ensure deadlines aren’t missed and that productivity doesn’t fall. If you are ready for a better solution, consider flexible working plans. It can help you keep workers happy while ensuring business functions don’t suffer.