Monday, June 17, 2024

What Is The Cost Of Absenteeism In The Workplace? What Businesses Can Do About It

Many factors contribute to the success or failure of a business organization. One of them is employees. With a great team comes a greater chance for your business to succeed. But that isn’t always the case since a business can face issues that can break its operations; one of them is workplace absenteeism.  

An Overview Of Workplace Absenteeism 

Absenteeism is when a worker misses a number of days at work. In other words, it’s when employees consistently fail to report for work at their scheduled times. This can be planned or unplanned. 

Planned absenteeism includes scheduled time off that has been arranged between the company and the employees. The management authorizes these personal time-offs. So, they cause little harm to the organization. Examples include personal annual leaves, maternity or paternity leave, medical or dental appointment leave, and compassionate leave.  

On the other hand, unplanned absenteeism occurs when a team member doesn’t show up for work without prior arrangement with the employer or their superiors. And this mostly happens due to unforeseen reasons like emergency leave, injuries, illnesses, mental ill health, or personal matters.  

Cost Of Workplace Absenteeism

Knowing the cost of workplace absenteeism can bring a better understanding of what a company will face if this behavior is not addressed properly. The cost of workplace absenteeism can be categorized into different classes. They include the following:  

  1. Productivity Costs

Productivity plays a critical role in the growth and success of your business. It helps enhance your sales and profits. With poor productivity, your company will barely take off the ground. 

Many things can hurt your company’s overall productivity, and one of them is workplace absenteeism. For instance, when someone fails to show up for work, the tasks become too difficult for others to complete. As such, you’ll fall behind and miss critical deadlines, and because machines will probably keep running, it also increases your overhead cost.  

  1. Increasing The Workload On Others 

Workplace absenteeism may force you to request others present to work overtime. In many cases, any employer who works for more hours than the agreed gets paid at a higher rate for the excess hours worked. It, therefore, adds extra costs to the business.  

You also need to note that, when working overtime, employees might not be as productive as during normal working hours. That increases your production costs, thus harming your profitability.  

  1. Untrained Staff Filling Gaps 

Sometimes you may not find a qualified person to complete the tasks of people who have missed to come for work. In such a case, you might be forced to pick untrained staff to fill the gaps. For instance, a cleaner may be assigned to install a particular gadget for a customer. And because they aren’t experts in that field, they might make mistakes that may cost your company.  

Besides, when you assign someone to complete an unfamiliar task, their production will likely be lower. And because they lack the right knowledge to complete the tasks, they can injure themselves, forcing you to take them to the hospital. Someone’s absenteeism caused all these.  

Remedies For Workplace Absenteeism 

As you’ve seen above, workplace absenteeism can cost businesses a lot of unnecessary expenditures. For that reason, you may want to find effective remedies to address this issue. Some of the strategies you can implement to eliminate or reduce employee absenteeism include the following: 

  • Reduce Workplace Stress

One of the major causes of employee absenteeism is workplace stress. Therefore, you should work on factors that attract stress to your workers. For instance, if the supervisor is giving them a hard time, you should talk to them to treat your employees with dignity. Likewise, if a particular work tool is broken and employees are stressed about it, consider fixing it as quickly as possible.

There are many other changes that you can implement to help your employees manage their stress levels. But all these changes lead toward promoting a better work environment. Therefore, they’ll be happy to work for your organization, thus helping minimize workplace absenteeism.  

  • Appreciate Employees For Work Well Done

Another great way to deal with workplace absenteeism is to appreciate your employees. Everyone likes to be recognized for any achievement. Therefore, when you appreciate your employees for their work, they feel valued. So, they’ll likely report to work every day. 

There are many ways of appreciating employees. For instance, you can appreciate them through word of mouth, offer promotions, organize an event focused on recognition, or initiate a family day. Select what’s best for your employees and is ideal for your company objectives.  

Apart from appreciating employees for their work well done, you can consider rewarding good attendance. That not only shows that you value them, but it also encourages others to always report to work.  

  • Encourage Workplace Or Employee Engagement 

Another effective way to make employees want to come to work daily is to boost their engagement. You can achieve that by providing efficient internal communication platforms. They can use those channels to follow company updates, report issues, provide feedback, or suggest improvements.  

Additionally, you can invest in various training and self-improvement. That enables employees to enhance their skills and become more active in the company’s activities. As such, they’ll remain motivated to work with you and your company. 

  • Enhance Workplace Flexibility 

In some instances, workplace absenteeism could result from unfavorable work schedules. And if that’s the case, flexible work arrangements can help solve the problem. Sit down with every team member and draft schedules allowing them to complete company tasks and attend to any personal matters they may have.  

For instance, employees who always fail to come to work due to children’s issues may benefit from flexible working hours. You can allow them on some days to report in the afternoon shift or come in the morning and leave early. The idea here is to work on a schedule that best fits specific employees’ needs without compromising their productivity at work.  


Workplace absenteeism can harm the growth of your company. It hurts your productivity and attracts extra costs to your enterprise. Therefore, your business will barely level up if many employees fail to come to work more often. You can implement the strategies in this article to deal with employee absenteeism. 


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Jennifer Evans
Jennifer Evans
principal, @patternpulseai. author, THE CEO GUIDE TO INDUSTRY AI. former chair @technationCA, founder @b2bnewsnetwork #basicincome activist. Machine learning since 2009.