Employees more comfortable taking time off sick than before pandemic
- Date: Wednesday 26th May 2021
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Research conducted by the energy retailer Love Energy Savings, who sought the views of 1000 employees, indicates a change in employee views about taking time off sick. The research found that 1 in 5 employees are now more comfortable taking a sick day than before the pandemic which contrasts to pre-pandemic when 4 out of 5 employees struggled into work when sick.
This indicates a change in how people look at health with a new focus on wellbeing.
1 in 10 respondents were less comfortable taking a day sick than pre-Covid but overall employees are now more comfortable taking time off.
This change of view appears to be based on:
- On the perception that the employer now takes illness more seriously
- Employees recognising a need to take better care of their own health
Homeworking has also changed employee views on sickness. Over 1/3 of employees are more comfortable taking time off sick because of the flexibility homeworking provides to catch up on missed work.
Some employees did think they could not justify taking sick leave if working from home and others believed they would be expected to work from home if they were ill. Others noted they were now more concerned about taking time off sick because they did not want to give the employer a reason to let them go.
What can employers learn from the research?
- Encourage employees to be open about their health
- Allow flexibility around sickness wherever possible (so employees can catch up on work around their personal availability and health needs)
- Make flexibility a two-way process – where an employee needs a few hours off ask them to make the time up when you, the employer, needs them most.
Source: Manuela Grossmann