Winter Absenteeism Could Be Due To Mental Health Issues

Posted January 19, 2018 by Mary McGinley

The holidays are now over and people are getting back to their daily lives at work. HR professionals and managers know that’s this is the time of year when there’s a dramatic increase in the level of absenteeism.

In an article by Ashlieh Wight that appeared on the Personnel Today website, January 15, dubbed as Blue Monday, is allegedly the most depressing day of the year. Various reasons have been cited for this, such as winter weather, post-holiday blues or having to face higher bills in the New Year. Wight suggests that during this time, it might be a good time to consider paying attention to workers’ mental health issues and overall well-being.

One suggestion, according to Director Adrian Lewis, is for organizations to try to reduce some of the root causes of absence at this time of year in addition to determine some factors that may cause absenteeism throughout the year.

“It can encourage employers to think about how they can reduce absence levels by understanding why people are taking time off sick. They can then offer support where needed, which can help improve productivity, reduce absenteeism and save money in the long run,” Lewis said.

According to Lewis, researchers found that absenteeism tended to be higher on Mondays or on Tuesdays following a bank holiday than on any other day of the week.

In a report that was issued in 2016 in the UK by the National Health,(NHS), that up to 60% of workers participating in the survey indicated experiencing some kind of mental health issue over the past year due to a situation at work. The report also found that depression was an underlying issue in 21% of cases while 14% faced issues of general anxiety.

Lewis encourages HR professionals and executives to track and monitor levels of absenteeism in a transparent manner. This data can not only give a clearer picture as to the trends occurring among workers but can give an indication if a worker may be showing warning signs of a larger issue, including those that may be affecting their mental health.

At EinsteinHR, we understand that you value your precious human capital. Making sure that each employee is as happy and healthy as possible both physically and emotionally is a part of ensuring the overall health of your company as well. We can help you manage the benefits that you offer to your workers so you can achieve all of these things. We offer a wide range of ways in order to attract, hire and retain top talent for your organization. Contact us today to find out how we can help and get a quote. You can reach us toll-free at 888-981-3622 (EMC2).