Last Thursday, Forbes published and discussed the most outrageous excuses given for calling in sick to work from CareerBuilder’s annual survey, which seeks information on sick days and absenteeism in the workplace. The excuses given by employees are quite entertaining and has led the survey to make headlines year after year. Despite the fact than many employees seem to get away with excuses like, “My dog is having a nervous breakdown, so I can’t make it in to work today,” it got me thinking about how sick and vacation days are directly related to your health.
Americas are known for failing to appreciate the finer things in life and instead pursue 40+ hour work weeks, too little sleep and maximal stress. And, many companies have horrific sick and vacation policies. While I found it quite ludicrous that any sane person would offer an excuse like, “I can’t come into work because my toe is stuck in the faucet,” I also find it appalling that employers have sent other employees to the home of the individual or had someone call and get the real scoop. What business is it of an employer as to how an employee wishes to use their sick days? Sometimes, you may not feel physically sick, but mentally you are at your max and just need a day.
In fact, I think employer’s would find they might benefit from a more productive work environment, if they offered more PTO (paid time off) days throughout the year or a realistic ability to earn those days. I have ideas on how this might work effectively, but I won’t bore you with the details. But, I will tell you that your mental and physical health benefits greatly from time off work. And, real time off – turning off the cell phone, the emails and the Facebook, Twitter and computer all together.
According to an article by ABC Health & Wellbeing, your health can reach a decline due to workplace stress caused by a variety of factors including, long working hours, insufficient breaks, lack of resources and unrealistic deadlines. Relationships with co-workers and managers, especially if these relationships involve conflict, harassment or bullying can lead to excessive stress and a decline in your health.
From personal experience, I know I am more productive when I am looking forward to my time off and when I return. It gives a fresh spirit and outlook on things, which is good for your health and workplace productivity.