Tag Archives: sick leave

Would you risk your whole company for a few days of sick leave?

Worried Manager
It’s not having no staff you have to worry about, it’s having no company at all

Sick leave is sick leave, right?

People taking chances, skiving days off. Like, unless they’re in hospital, it’s all stitch up, yeah?

Productivity down the tubes because somebody has a sore toe.

Not an issue, except for staff discipline.

Show them you’re soft and they’ll take you for everything. All it needs is a little tightening up.

As if.

Beyond sick leave

Yes, sick leave is an issue. But small in the great scheme of things. A blip alongside the multi-million pound deals where the real action is.

Small, huh?

Try microscopic.

The size that germs are when they take you down. You, or any of your staff – we’re all human. When infection strikes, we’re all of us out of commission – real pain, real fever, real life threat if it gets out of hand.

Which is why sick leave.

Time out to get better. Quarantine to avoid taking other staff down too.

Side issue, yes – except it’s human assets that are at hazard. Productive only when the body is working well. Dodgy, dead risky, or downright dangerous when not 100%.

Yes, so somebody slopes off a day extra after a cold or flu. A small price against having the whole office out with the same thing. No hands when they’re most needed, so things start looking iffy.

“Nice take on this!” – Washington Post

Or riskier still, how about they DON’T take time off? Or not all the time they’re supposed to. So they’re working at half power, unwell at work, dragging everybody down with them. Screwing up left, right and centre because their minds are wet putty.

Paying that never stops

Costa Brava con job? Get ready for Costa Plenty.

Like how about the airline captain who lifts off for a long-haul flight with tummy cramps? £500 million worth of Airbus A380, 360 passengers – and lawyers lined up to infinity and beyond if anything goes wrong.

And if the worst happens, who’s going to fly with that airline ever again? What happens to their licence?  Is there any way back from such negative PR?

Can’t happen in your business?

Hey, when sick leave issues go pear-shaped, nobody is immune.

Like Mex-food restaurant chain, Chipotle. Staff recalled from sick leave early – still contagious. 133 customers down with food poisoning, share price drops 12%. And this on top off previous health incidents – only a bumpy ride back.

You see, sick leave itself is easy. Expensive, yes – business gurus PwC put yearly UK sick leave costs at £29 billion.

The hard part is the knock-ons. An average ten times normal sick leave cost for regular Tom, Dick and Harriets who struggle back to their desks as martyrs – an eye-watering £290 billion.

Damage control

And then there’s the damage control. What do those sick staff do when they’re not functioning and out of their heads, basically sitting there trying to stay alive? What can they cost with their mistakes and falling around? Double their salary? Triple? Check out the hairy possible Germonomics.

The mind boggles.

All of which says, don’t catch a cold. Treat sick leave seriously. Over-indulge if you have to. A few extra days off is chicken-feed alongside crashing the whole company.

Besides, what better motivation can you have for staff? You show you care and you’re thinking about them. Your ace in the hole. They might not volunteer the extra mile – but they’re sure to be OK with giving it, if you ask.

Which means profits are safe, staff are safe, everybody’s happy.

Can’t do better than that.

Picture Copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo

Germ-free offices make pots more money

Ecstatic businesswoman
Winning is addictive. And the feel-good is contagious

We’re kidding, right?

No way the numbers add up.

So what if 131 million working days are lost to sick leave every year? That’s not going to break the bank – 4.4 days per employee, one week out of 52, not even 2%.

Yeah – except none of those employees works in isolation. There’s colleagues like you, sitting at a desk less than 10 feet away – well inside cough, splutter range.

Oops, it’s catching

Which means whatever they get, you get too. Sod’s law.

Sure, sure, but all part of the same statistic. Only 4.4, right?

You wish.

Because being sick for real – not just pulling a sickie – is more than one or two days off, isn’t it?

There’s the four-five days incubation, before you come down with it. Not feeling yourself, dragging yourself into work, head all over the place, sweats and chills at the same time, tummy roiling with World War Three.

Impossible to work like that. Not you at your best, hey? What would you say, 50% under par? More? Less than half a person, going through the motions – and all the time you’re doing that, how many others are there inside YOUR 10 foot cough, splutter range?

You shouldn’t be there, right? You owe it to your colleagues – and your bosses. You’re a walking germ-alodium and you ought to stay away.

So what do you prove, walking round, infecting everyone? That you’re a hero? Get real.

And the rest

Plus of course, there’s the other four-five days when you get back. Still feeling like death warmed up, still way under par. Not convalescing, you do that at home. More like guilt-tripping because you know they’re running under-staffed. Or maybe you’re worried about job security.

Which makes the numbers more under-claim rosy than they should be, doesn’t it? A bigger cost, even lower productivity. Instead of 4.4 days a year, you’re performing like less than half of yourself for another ten – altogether three weeks of your expertise whipped away, gone.

And that’s not counting mistakes you might make because you’re not 100% on the ball. Or things you miss while you’re battling to concentrate. They have a price tag too. Lost income certainly, maybe a lost contract too. Or forfeits of some kind because your work doesn’t come up to scratch.

The real downside

OK, so if straight statistics mean the country is losing £29 billion a year from sick days – reality is at least five to ten times more than that, around £150 billion.

To put that in perspective, say you’re a mid-level minnow at £2,500 a month and your valued expertise generates 10 times more than that. Your worth to the company is £27,500 a month. Take out the three weeks of under-performing and that’s just under £18,500. Down the tubes, gone. Because you weren’t functioning on all four.

But hold it. Those ONS statistics mean every worker in the country loses 4.4 days a year – every single one.

So if there’s ten more of you in the office, that’s £185,000 a year, assuming you’re all at the same level. Add the boss in there – and say, a couple of the more high-powered sales stars – and that easily tops half a mill.

Half a million quid, every year – just for parking off, sick!

How many companies can afford that? And what if where you work has more than ten people?

Light in the tunnel

Which makes it kind of crazy that it’s all unnecessary, doesn’t it?

Because for less than the cost of just one of you, that all-involving career outfit you’re working for could have not one but TWO Hypersteriliser machines misting up the place every night and reducing the presence of all viruses and bacteria to zero. No germs, boom – in around forty minutes per room.

And what would that do? Chop the chance of any of you catching an infection at work by at least half, maybe more.

No, it won’t wave a magic wand if you’re sick already – or stop you coming down with something if it’s already inside you.

But it will stop new stuff – all of it.

And if you all give up bad habits like eating at your desk – about the worst place to catch germs in the universe from the guck that accumulates and is never cleaned away – there’s even less chance of getting sick, ever.

Especially if you all wash your hands on top of it – and keep sanitising gel handy.

Uh huh. A total U-turn in office hygiene.

Because now instead of losing money, the place starts making it. Not exactly germ-free, but almost.

When success strikes

Feeling well means that everyone is functioning at 100 per. Stuff gets done, efficiency rises. You all start looking like winners. Which of course, you are.

Snowball time. Everything just keeps getting better.

Your offices feel like a good place to be, so morale takes a hike. Onwards and upwards becomes a reality. Going the extra mile is done with a smile. The competitive edge. You’re better than anyone else and you know it.

All of you.

And what does that do to the balance sheet?

See the boss’s smile. See him give you a whole extra three weeks off.

Wait a minute, wasn’t that how long you were out of it – dragging yourself around, sick as a dog?

See the boss smile again. Feel yourself do it too.

The place can afford it now – a clean bill of health. These are germ-free offices and it shows.