Spokesperson: Dr. Rohit Sharma, CEO & Founder, Zini.AI
- A lot many employees these days are asking or requesting for work from home permanently.
Life is busy, and occasionally and everyone needs time off once in a while. Taking time away from the office has been proven to help employees to be more creative and more productive. However, a lot of companies don’t embrace this, and many workers feel tremendous pressure to put in long hours and not take much if any, time off. But while productivity may have gone up, many employees report feeling anxious and burned out. An average of three in 10 employees call in sick to their office when not actually ill. The study said that next to actually being sick, the most common reasons employees call in sick are because they just don’t feel like going to work (34 per cent) or because they felt like they needed to relax (29 per cent). Others take the day off so they can make it to a doctor’s appointment (22 per cent), catch up on sleep (16 per cent), or run some errands (15 per cent). If managers are unapproachable, it is natural that employees might be tempted to fake a sick day.
- How are companies responding to it, and on what basis
Numerous companies are arranging a new blend of remote and on-site working, a hybrid virtual model in which some employees are on premises while others work from home on an alternate day or three days a week method. The new model promises greater access to talent, increased productivity for individuals and small teams, lower costs, more individual flexibility, and improved employee experiences. The company intends to keep its physical office for those who want to go back in voluntarily, though some workers are taking advantage of the flexibility to move away entirely.
- How frequent is it?
If the companies treat sick leave as something that has to be gamed, wheedled for, lied about, and taken advantage of, that’s what the employers will do. In 2018 employees faked sick leave on average for nine days. 85% of employees feel their manager is more likely to think their need for time off is genuine if they say they are suffering from a cold or flu rather than from stress or anxiety.
- Did the pandemic have a role to play in it?
The employee demanding sick leaves has become more intense due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has made employees’ mental health top-of-mind for employers, as many working adults are feeling a sense of uncertainty. Now, more than ever, it’s important to stay on top of employee productivity, not in terms of the company’s success, but for employee well-being. It’s important to come from a place of concern for health rather than business advancement during challenging times. The pandemic has provided one of those rare opportunities to radically rethink the way we work and live. This includes having less time spent in closed cabins and concrete walls and a chance for people to reclaim some flexibility and have more work-life balance. The employees said that they are living their best life now as they are not wasting time by spending hours going to the office and coming back home. Secondly, they feel happy that they are far away from a high-pressure environment and feel relaxed working from home.
- What are the reservations against it from companies, if any?
A worker may use paid sick leave if required to leave work under critical circumstances. However, the employer cannot force or require the employee to use their paid sick leave to cover the absence. Temporarily choose to waive verification requirements or relax their existing policy for employees using paid sick leave in connection with COVID-19.
- Are they considering the request without any issues? What’s their take?
Employers are often dissatisfied with the notice given by employees and the evidence provided to support the need for sick leave. Employers can ask an employee to give evidence to confirm why they have been away from work at any time. This includes employees who may have only been absent for one day. An employee who doesn’t give their employer evidence when asked may not be entitled to be paid for their sick leave. Challenging the validity of a medical certificate is difficult to do. The employer must suspect there has been dishonesty on the part of the employee to challenge a medical certificate.