This article looks at the benefits of online absence management and how it can help reduce absence levels and support businesses.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced in late April 2022, that an estimated 149.3 million working days were lost because of sickness or injury in the UK in 2021. That is equivalent to just over 4 and a half days per worker. This can obviously affect businesses in several ways; delays in production, impacts to customer satisfaction, increased stress in other employees, and so on.
The statistic has of course been impacted by Covid-19 and rules around isolation. If we look back to pre-pandemic, 2019 saw 138.2m absences reported; 2021 has seen a 7.4% increase. The average over the 10-year period from 2010-2019 was 135.9m per year. The point here being, that even if absence levels return to pre-pandemic levels, it is still an everyday scenario that businesses must navigate.
One thing that can significantly help organisations to grasp how absence is affecting their operations is to introduce software that aids in tracking sick days and time off. Online absence management systems make it simple for employees and managers to submit, track and manage absences. Managers are always kept up to date and use the tools and reports available to identify trends and issues.
There are many benefits of online absence management. Here, we’ll look at 5 key improvements that such a system can bring to everyday absence management:
Reduce further absences
When monitoring employee absence through an absence management system, being able to track the outcomes of processes like return-to-work interviews can be key to understanding why your employees are taking time off. With consistent data, management can become enlightened on where some staff might need additional support. Having the right support structures in place can help to reduce the impact of further sick days on your teams. Integrating it with your holiday management can also highlight risks of burnout.
A centralised book of records
Having a centralised and dedicated process for absence management allows your managers to easily spot absence trends. Reporting tools aid with giving insight on frequencies and Bradford Factors. No longer will they have to manage submissions by email, calls, etc. and tie this info together manually. Consistently categorised and up to date data empowers managers to assess and report on absence trends and influence decisions.
Get away from email, spreadsheets, and paper files
Attempting absence tracking in spreadsheets can be difficult to keep accurate and up to date. It is also not robustly secure and private. Most absence management systems offer Document Storage as standard. With records safely in the cloud and documents attached, managers no longer have to track absences from email trails and by downloading attachments.
Make Policies readily available
With online systems, it is easy for companies to make all documentation that an employee might need, available to them. Policies around absence and time off can be accessible in a central location to all staff. This means they don’t have to chase the HR department for information or trawl through laptops or cabinets for files. Consequently, the workforce are in the know on the company protocols around return to work, doctors notes etc.
Transparency & Consistency
A centralised, online absence system can help show managers who is out at any time. This can be either across the whole company or within their team. They can easier manage any upcoming or long-term absences and make decisions on demand and workforce placement based around this. This transparency will lead to fewer problems with staffing levels at key times.
These are just some of the benefits of moving to an online system. A good absence management system will help organisations to better enact and monitor their policies. On top of this, they will be in a stronger position to support their staff and spot trends and issues with absenteeism and presenteeism. With innovative absence management, employers can better manage absence and reduce the cost implications for their business.
CloudCube from Integrated Cloud offers a comprehensive absence management system. You can find out more here or request a free demo here. Absence management is part of the overall HR module. This is a key module offered as part of the overall CloudCube package. If you have any questions, please contact us.