75% of companies stated that minor illnesses such as colds, flu, headache and stomach upsets are the most common cause of absence from the workplace. With 95% stating that it is in the top 5 common causes of absence. With the flu season running from November through to January, it is essential to put steps in place and provide advice to ensure your staff absence levels don’t spiral out of control during potential busy periods.

Ensuring staff is fit and healthy during the flu season will have a positive effect on your business, with staff well-being being directly linked to staff productivity levels. Currently, 6% of organisations don’t provide any support for staff well-being; this can have a long term detrimental effect on the business.

Short term unplanned absences have the biggest impact on organisations as they are unexpected, with managers and other staff members not knowing a staff member is absent until the morning they call into the office. This means that managers are being reactive, rather than proactive when it comes to absence. Managers and staff are left to pick up other workloads and don’t have a clear picture of when the absent member will return to work.

With the annual cost of absence at £522 (CIPD 2016), staff absence could also have serious financial implications on any organisation. Only 20% of smaller organisations (1-49 employees) manage the cost of absence, with the number significantly higher (72%) in organisations with over 5,000 employees. Disruption through absence is more noticeable within smaller organisations, and sick pay schemes tend to be less generous, therefore recording absence should be higher in the list of priorities.

The proportion of organisations that monitor the cost of employee absence (%) – source: CIPD

By implementing an automated absence management system you can have a clear picture of staff absence and an overall picture of absence throughout the organisation. With sickness recording, custom forms, return to work forms and automated alerts you are given real-time information on any absence. Records are also taken so you have historical data that can pick up any trends that may be occurring, you are then able to find a solution to any common causes of sickness.

e-days offer a fully automated absence management system that can be used by staff, managers and HR so all absence is documented and the absence process is simplified across the business. Sign up for a free demo of the award-winning system.