No­body wins play­ing hooky

Sur­vey shows huge per­cent­age of em­ploy­ees ad­mit skip­ping work

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - FRONT PAGE - BAR­BARA BOWES

IT seems our work­place cy­cles are bal­anced around the school year. There­fore, Septem­ber means back to school for all lev­els of stu­dents and back to “se­ri­ous” work for em­ploy­ees.

The rea­son I use the word “se­ri­ous” is sum­mer is the time when most em­ploy­ees take a va­ca­tion, and to be hon­est, many em­ploy­ees also work at just a lit­tle bit slower pace.

While work life ramps up in the fall, so do the many peo­ple is­sues that come with lead­ing an or­ga­ni­za­tion.

And, as with schools, one of the prob­lems that arises is the is­sue of ab­sen­teeism. Yes, peo­ple le­git­i­mately be­come ill, es­pe­cially when colds and fevers are passed from school­child­ren to adults. How­ever, the big­ger is­sue re­lated to ab­sen­teeism is the con­cept of play­ing hooky.

No mis­take, the is­sue isn’t re­lated to our good old Cana­dian game of hockey! In­stead, hooky is a rather un­wel­come game in which em­ploy­ees are ab­sent with­out per­mis­sion or with­out an ex­cuse. In fact, some em­ploy­ees sim­ply dis­ap­pear for days at a time. Un­for­tu­nately, ab­sen­teeism in the form of hooky is far too com­mon and a lot more costly to or­ga­ni­za­tions than rec­og­nized.

A re­cent sur­vey showed more than half of em­ployed Cana­di­ans (54 per cent) read­ily ad­mit­ted they’ve called in sick as an ex­cuse for sim­ply not want­ing to come to work. What’s shock­ing, how­ever, is the fact 71 per cent of the sur­vey’s Man­i­to­ban par­tic­i­pants ad­mit­ted they have played hooky from work. Ap­prox­i­mately 83 per cent of this Man­i­toba group of em­ploy­ees stated stress and burnout as their rea­son for fak­ing a sick day.

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