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Each year, employee absences cost business tens of thousands of pounds, and countrywide, these costs can easily total billions of pounds. Having excessive absences can slow productivity and cause orders not to be fulfilled on time. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce absences and increase productivity.

Track Absences

Although you may think you have a problem with absenteeism, if you don’t keep track of how often your employees don’t show up at work, you won’t really know the extent of the problem. While the human resources department will tally up absences when they complete the payroll, you shouldn’t wait to get the information from them. There are several programs which can help you track absences when an employee clocks out early, comes in late, or calls in sick.

Help Returning Employees

It can be difficult for employees to return to work after a long health-related absence. If they’ve sustained serious injuries in an accident, then they may have problems with their mobility or other physical limitations. To help employees adjust to their new reality, modify their workstation so it is easier for them to access everything they use daily, or consider allowing them to work from home, if possible.

Keep Environment Clean

Sometimes the office causes employees to be sick because dust, chemical cleaners, and dirty HVAC ducts can trigger allergies. However, by reducing clutter on desks and having workstations, computer terminals, and other surfaces dusted every week and carpets regularly vacuumed, the number of allergens can be greatly reduced. Also, encourage the cleaning service to switch to all-natural cleaning products to prevent the spread of potentially toxic chemicals.

Encourage Use of Wellness Programs

Most companies have wellness programs which can help staff form healthier lifestyle habits, lose weight, start exercising or receive counselling for drug and alcohol addictions. By becoming healthier and getting the help they need, employees will miss fewer days of work. Employers can also provide other health benefits for employees to prevent absences and help increase productivity, including ways for them to contact their doctors remotely. This can allow them to get minor illnesses diagnosed without needing to take time off for appointments.

Reduce Office Stress

Meeting deadlines at work can be stressful, but it is a normal stress, so most people know how to cope with it. However, if you have managers always berating employees and constantly pushing them to exceed goals, or if the staff feels as if they are not listened to, it can result in stress, lower morale and increased absences in the workplace. Lower your staff members’ stress levels by creating a work environment which encourages the flow of ideas and helps employees feel comfortable when speaking to supervisors and managers.

Another way to decrease absenteeism is to encourage employees to stay home if they are running fevers or coughing excessively. If they show up at work, they can spread their illness and your company can experience a swatch of absences. By reducing absenteeism, you can make your company more productive, which will help increase your sales and profits.

Jose Nguyen

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