As indicated in Adecco’s 8th report on absenteeism, in recent years the ratios of ‘deliberate abstention from going to the place where an obligation is fulfilled’ have seen a clear increase.

It is not possible to quantify exactly how much absenteeism amounts to. However, it is estimated that in 2018 the total loss of hours due to temporary disability or other causes reached 1.35 billion. This total number of hours is equivalent to saying that there were a total of 753,000 employees who did not work throughout the year.

What are the causes of absenteeism?

According to Chironprevención, the flu was the main cause of absenteeism until March. Because of its great capacity to be transmitted, the flu is one of the most infectious diseases of the respiratory tract.

Flu and absenteeism

Year after year, between the months of November and March, between 5 and 15% of the population is affected by the flu virus.

It is clear that offices are places where people and therefore viruses congregate. Doors, photocopiers, lifts, coffee machines, keyboards, switches – there are thousands of points that increase the possibility of infection among workers.

What about ‘attendance’?

However, levels of absenteeism are very much related to ‘attendance’. Going to work when you are sick is also a real phenomenon that has many negative consequences for workers and companies.

Researchers from The Work Foundation, an independent, non-profit foundation, estimated that the influenza A pandemic forced 26 million American workers to take time off work. However, 8 million workers went to work even though they had contracted the virus and infected 7 million of their co-workers.

The results of a sovereign study conducted during the COVID-19 crisis showed that 90% of workers admitted to having gone to work while sick.

Ninety percent of workers admit to going to work when they are sick. 33% say that they always go to work when they are sick and 57% say that they go to work sometimes.
Sovereign study conducted during the COVID-19 crisis

Absenteeism and Attendance: Two sides of the same coin

Worker absenteeism, even when the worker is sick, causes contagion to other colleagues in the office. These infections decrease the productivity of these workers and increase the possibility of absenteeism.

As a result, these attitudes pose a serious threat to companies. The economic and social cost to organisations is very high. In fact, it has been shown that absenteeism is as costly as, if not more so, than absenteeism.

Not taking care of the health and infections of employees, in the long run, becomes a serious problem to achieve the objectives of organizations.

Absenteeism and Worker Absenteeism: Two sides of the same coin

Indoor air quality

While it is true that the first step in companies is to encourage employees to stay at home when they are sick, there are also other ways to reduce absenteeism and therefore absenteeism.

People spend over 90% of their time indoors. And, normally, indoor air is up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air (between 200 and 500%).

This is why air and surface purification technology such as ActivePure can be significantly beneficial to organisations. In fact, it has been proven that this type of disinfection system can reduce absenteeism in companies and schools by up to 80%.

ActivePure technology allows offices, businesses and schools to reduce airborne contaminants by more than 90% in 30 minutes, protecting spaces 24 hours a day.

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