Presently, almost every organization is facing issues due to employee absenteeism as more and more workforce is choosing to stay off work. As a result, excessive absenteeism leads to declined productivity and has a negative impact on the company finances, goodwill, and other related factors. Let’s see how employee absenteeism is turning out to be an economic burden on corporate India and possible ways to resolve the issue.
Why is absenteeism becoming common?
The nature of work is changing at a whirlwind speed, with work stress posing as a threat to the health of employees. Stress at workplace affects both physical as well as mental well-being. The impact is evident as long working hours, irregular dietary habits, sedentary lifestyle, etc. are robbing employees of their well-being and happiness. Some of the crucial determinants of absenteeism include depression, poor health, bullying, work stress, etc.
Real-time effect: how corporate India is suffering
Let’s see how a typical corporate employee gets into the absentee mode. X, a top B-school graduate, is working with a leading finance firm for three years now. Here’s a breakdown of his workweek. A total of 13 hours was spent at work from Monday to Friday, excluding commuting time. On Saturdays, he worked an additional shift of 6-7 hours. He could spend a mere 30 minutes for his family in the morning and another 30 minutes at night for himself to relax before sleeping.
The work schedule quickly took a toll on his mental health. Even after spending around 13 hours at work, he never felt to have accomplished anything. Deadlines, meetings, and work overload would keep his mind restless. And he would eventually strain himself to the point of being physically unable to make it to work regularly.
Impact of employee absenteeism
A study conducted by Optum (a leading provider of employee assistance programs for corporates) reveals that around 46% of organizational workforce in India suffers from some or the other type of stress. Meanwhile, 43% have a distorted BMI, of which an approximate 30% are likely to develop chronic disorders. Most of our productive population consists of the youth, who have been found out to be suffering from diabetes and hypertension. The situation imposes a large economic burden not only on the global healthcare system but also on the global economy at a macro level.
Is technology the answer?
Technological innovations in the form of virtual healthcare systems offer medical programs for HR managers to help improve employee health and minimize company costs. Hence, employers should invest in virtual healthcare technology solutions to curb medical absenteeism and increase employee productivity.
Virtual healthcare solutions like Telehealth enables employees to have online medical consultations right from their desks. That means, consulting a medical specialist through video chat not only helps employees to be productive at work but also gain expert consultancies with regards to the health issues they might have. On the other hand, virtual healthcare also proves fruitful for the organization as employee absenteeism can be curbed to a great extent.
Online consultations can offer several direct benefits to the injured employees as well, including 24*7*365 availability, boosting employee-organization association, greater employee satisfaction, reduced absenteeism, enhanced productivity, and decline in unnecessary care facility visits saving further costs.