Reasons For High Absenteeism In Businesses

A female employee struggling at work

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you may have encountered the problem of high business absenteeism. This can be frustrating and costly, leading to lower employee productivity and morale. You can lose about $2,000 to $3,600 per absent employee at work annually. So if you have an absent employee for even a few days, it can be costly.

If you’re struggling with high absenteeism in your business, there are several ways that you can address the problem. One of the most important things to do is to find out why your employees are absent so frequently. Here are some of those reasons.

Poor Work-Life Balance

One of the hidden reasons behind high absenteeism in businesses is poor work-life balance. Employees who feel like they are constantly working long hours with no time for themselves are more likely to get burnt out and take days off. To combat this, try to create a more balanced work environment where employees have time for work and personal life. Here are two ways you can do this:

Flexible Work

Employees who control their working hours and schedule are less likely to feel like work infringes on their personal life. So consider offering flexible work options such as flextime or working from home.

Childcare Services

Employees spend an average of one hundred minutes per day with their children. They are likely to spend more time if they don’t have access to childcare. Offering on-site or nearby childcare can go a long way in reducing absenteeism rates.

An employee getting overwhelmed

Unclear Job Expectations

Another reason for high absenteeism is unclear job expectations. When employees are unsure of what is expected, they may become stressed and overwhelmed. This can lead to them taking days off to avoid feeling like they are not meeting your expectations. To prevent this, make sure to hire efficient managers. These managers can communicate your expectations to employees and help them achieve those goals.

Lack of Engagement

A third hidden reason behind high absenteeism is a lack of engagement. Employees who feel like their work is not meaningful or fulfilling are less likely to show up for their shifts. To combat this, try to create a more engaging work environment where employees feel like their work is essential and makes a difference. You can do this by giving employees opportunities to provide input on projects, providing recognition for good jobs, and offering development opportunities. Additionally, consider task rotations.

Task Rotations

When employees have to do the same tasks day after day, they are more likely to get burned out and become disengaged. To combat this, consider offering task rotations. This will help employees gain a broader perspective on the company and reduce their level of burnout.

Poor Physical and Mental Health

Finally, poor physical and mental health can also be a hidden reason behind high absenteeism in businesses. Employees who are not physically healthy are more likely to get sick and take days off from work. Here are the three main health issues you should address in your office.

Oral Pain

Oral pain is the leading cause of absenteeism and presenteeism in the office. Employees who experience frequent oral pain are more likely to miss work. Some way you can help reduce oral pain is by offering affordable tooth implants to employees. This can reduce bacterial infection in the mouth, reducing oral pain. Free visits to the dental office can also make a considerable difference when maintaining the oral health of your employees.

Smoking Cessation

Another critical health issue often overlooked in the office is smoking cessation. Employees who smoke frequently miss more work than those who don’t, which can also lead to presenteeism due to nicotine addiction. Additionally, it can lead to lung cancer. When not addressed, this kind of cancer can be fatal.

If you want to deal with this, you can offer smoking cessation resources to your employees. This can include nicotine patches, quit-smoking apps, and phone counseling sessions.


Another major physical health issue in the workplace is stress. Employees who feel stressed at work are more likely to take time off or experience presenteeism. To help manage stress levels in the office, you can offer employee assistance programs (EAPs). These EAPs include free counseling sessions and other mental health resources that employees can use to deal with workplace stress.

There are many hidden reasons behind high absenteeism in businesses. By understanding the root causes of this problem, you can develop strategies to address it more effectively. You can reduce absenteeism in your business and improve productivity by taking steps to improve these areas.


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