High levels of absenteeism remain a problem at some workplaces. Workers are absent from work for a number of reasons, the main acceptable reason being illness.
There are other acceptable reasons such as personal or family emergencies. Unacceptable reasons include not going to work so that one goes to a social event and hangovers following a night of partying and excessive drinking.
A study found that absenteeism cannot be eradicated. Individuals with health issues can benefit from long periods away from the workplace while other personal issues can also lead to aggravated absenteeism. The frequency of absenteeism, however, can be lowered.
Employers should consider avoiding unpopular rigid measures to limit absenteeism. Such measures sometimes have negative consequences, such as encouraging people who are sick to go in to work. Employers should rather seek to create workplaces that nurture workers. They can do this through measures that ensure that workloads are realistic and workers have the resources they need to do their job.
Other prevention measures, such as providing exercise opportunities, having reasonable times, providing facilities at work and supporting sick workers through health professionals should be encouraged.
The early return of workers to the workplace following a prolonged period of absenteeism can be accepted when there are support systems in place that help individuals to recover. Providing workers with interesting tasks can also help bring down absenteeism and the introduction of flexi-work can help workers deal with their personal challenges without resorting to absenteeism.