It is not just the flu that causes sick leave among employees. A key driver is the working environment, as it affects employees twofold - physically or mentally. When employees report in sick, it can cause a lot of challenges. Fortunately, efforts can be taken to both prevent and reduce sick leave.
All people get sick from time to time, so it is impossible to eliminate sick leave altogether. However, you can prevent a big chunk of it by being aware of the root causes. That will give you a better overview of the problem and make it easier to target your efforts.
Use statistics on sick leave
If you do not already collect statistics on sick leave at your workplace, that is a solid place to start. It would be best if you chose criteria that make sense for your particular workplace. In some cases, it can be sufficient to track the average number of sick leave days per employee, FTE for each department, or the complete workplace. However, you can also divide the statistics into different categories such as short- and long-term, gender, and professional groups.
The most important thing is that you compile helpful statistics that can help you make good decisions.
In addition, you can do a workplace environment assessment to gain more knowledge about your employees' sick leave. Or you can carry out employee satisfaction surveys.
Focus on sick leave and make it a joint project
Sick leave should be a common concern. We often consider sick leave an individual or personal matter, but it usually has something to do with how the company works. If a company has a high level of sick leave among employees, it is clear that something is not right.
That is why sick leave should be a joint project where everyone participates in the discussion about the root causes – and not least how to reduce it.
Good ergonomics reduces sick leave
When we work in front of a computer for a whole day, we become physically stressed. Sedentary office workers account for 38% of all sick leave. That is why it matters how the workstation is set up.
Sedentary office work is an overlooked area because it is not considered physically demanding. But simply by using a centred mouse, 99% experience that pain and discomfort are eliminated.
With a combination of the right chair, height-adjustable table, screen and keyboard, you can vastly reduce sick leave. And thus save the company extensive amounts of money.
Read more: Benefits of a centred mouse
Take the mental work environment seriously
It is always easier to deal with the flu or a broken arm than mental issues. But the fact is that the mental work environment can directly impact the amount of sick leave.
Therefore, it is also the management's task to ensure a good mental work environment and that employees feel safe and happy at work.
Strengthen the sense of community in the workplace
A good understanding of community in the workplace helps to motivate employees. And when talking about what is essential for job satisfaction and the desire to go to work, you also talk about the negative aspects.
A good sense of community strengthens the mental work environment if you dare to speak about it – also if you are the boss.