Employee Absences Spike in the Summer

May 29, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The coming of summer may mean a less productive workplace, as some employees ditch work to enjoy a day off, a recent survey shows.

According to a survey by Kronos Incorporated of 1,077 adults, “Summer Absence Syndrome” (SAS) will cause approximately 30% of employees to call in sick this season to enjoy a day off, down from about 39% of employees who say they have done so in the past.

The most popular days to call in sick were Friday and Monday.

The most cited response to why employees call in sick was:

  • I needed a mental health day;
  • The weather was great and I wanted to enjoy the day; and
  • My workload is heavy so I spontaneously take time off when I can.

The survey also suggests that SAS can have a negative impact on all employees in the workplace.

Some employees agreed that employees calling in sick – when they are not – impacts their productivity because there are fewer people to get the work done and it sets a precedent that encourages others to play sick as well.

Some respondents suggested that fewer workers would call in sick if employers allow them to have some Fridays off during the summer or to allow telecommuting and flex-time.