June is bound to make you think of summer, blossoming greenery, and lush warm weather. While the UK is currently disappointing us on that front, many employees are planning to welcome June with a relaxed start, by pulling a cheeky sickie.
That’s according to research from Office provider Desk.co.uk, who asked 2,088 employees over the Bank Holiday weekend if they would consider telling a few ‘white lies’ to avoid a day at work this week.
Over a quarter (27%) of those questioned said they were hoping to sneak an extra day off – with June 1st proving to be the most popular option.
Tuesday, unsurprisingly, was the next most popular day to try to sneak off, whilst mid-week sickies of Wednesday and Thursday were less popular.
“When it’s hot, kids are off and it’s a short week people are more likely to lie to avoid a day in the hot office,” Jane Smith from Desk.co.uk comments.
“Some people will attempt to work from home, but some simply won’t turn in at all and make up a lie.”
One of the survey respondents justified their decision to pull a sickie on a nice day, saying: “It’ll be raining all summer won’t it, so I want to make the most of it. It’s so hot in work, so yes I have told a porky in the past and had the day off”.
However, some employees said they might need to consider taking a day off in order to cover childcare obligations during the school holidays. “I always find it hard to organise the kids, if I get stuck what I can do apart from use up my sick days?” asked one respondent. “As long as I don’t go over, it’ll be fine”.
Desk.co.uk advises all employers to double check sick day excuses this week – but for HR professionals, prevention is nearly always better than cure.
Below, we’ve collated some of the top tips to prevent sickies:
Offer working from home options – One of the respondents above said she had to use sick days to care for her children during the school holidays. However, if you offered her the chance to work from home, she might be able to keep an eye on her children whilst getting on with her job. This also allows employees to avoid a hot, smelly commute which might be putting them off coming in.
Offer ‘duvet days’ as a work benefit – This is a day an employee can take leave without giving notice in advance. This can help boost productivity, as staff feel respected, and it helps to build trust as employees don’t have to pretend to be sick when they really just need a day off. These are built into a firm’s holiday allowance.
Reduce work stresses – Find out why people might want to take a day away from the office. Are they overwhelmed with work? Is the office a comfortable place to get things done? If you can reduce the stress of working, then chances are your employees won’t feel the need to escape once in a while.