Should You Be Offering Workers ‘Unsick Days?’

October 21st, 2016 Comments off
Patient sitting on treatment couch

Most people’s approach to their health tends to be reactionary – you get sick, you go to the doctor to get it checked out. But why do we wait until something goes wrong? What if we had the option to go to the doctor before we got sick and hopefully avoid getting sick at all.

That’s what Zocdoc is proposing – an Unsick Day.

One of the main reasons people aren’t going to the doctor in advance of illness setting in is work. According to a recent Zocdoc survey, 86 percent of workers say they would cancel or reschedule a booked preventive care appointment due to workplace pressures.

Zocdoc’s Unsick Day is a new kind of day off – one taken with employers’ explicit permission and encouragement, specifically for employees to take care of annual physicals, skin screenings, dental cleanings, and other routine health procedures that are too often neglected.

And it’s not just the workers who are missing out. The survey found that only 1 in 4 workers have utilized all of their preventive health benefits, which means companies are investing in benefits and plans that are going vastly underutilized.

An Unsick Day would change all that – according to the survey, 51 percent of workers said they’d be more likely to take advantage of preventive health benefits if their employer encouraged it. And on top of that, 49 percent say they’re more likely to stay with a company that offers time off for preventive care.

Plus, preventive care leads to healthier, more productive employees. These check-ins help workers detect potential issues early, form stronger relationships with providers and take a more active role in their own long-term health.

Benefits like health care are often looked at as a way to attract candidates, but they’re also great for retention. Workers appreciate when their employers take a continued interest in their happiness and wellbeing – exactly what an Unsick Day would provide.

For other ideas on how to help your employees and improve retention, check out Why and How to Help Employees Manage Their Finances.

10 Absurd Excuses Workers Have Used to Call in Sick

October 15th, 2015 Comments off
10 Absurd Excuses Workers Have Used to Call in Sick

Let’s be real – we’ve all toyed with the idea of (or actually gone through with) taking a “mental health” day before. In fact, according to a new CareerBuilder survey, 38 percent of employees have called in to work sick when they were actually feeling perfectly fine, up from 28 percent last year.

Maybe work was overly stressful and they needed a break to clear their heads … or maybe they just wanted to lay in bed all day covered in snacks while watching Netflix.

According to the survey, of the workers who’ve called in sick when feeling well in the past year, 27 percent said they had a doctor’s appointment, the same percentage said they just didn’t feel like going, 26 percent said they needed to relax, 21 percent said they needed to catch up on sleep and 12 percent blamed bad weather.

The Most Memorable Excuses

When you were taking a mental health day, some workers use perfectly normal excuses — for example, they might blame migraines, nasty colds or attribute it to something bad they may have eaten the night before. But compared to some of the excuses in CareerBuilder’s survey, those sick day explanations are just amateur hour.

Here are some of the most memorable, real-life examples employers have heard for workplace absences:

1. Employee claimed his grandmother poisoned him with ham.

2. Employee was stuck under the bed.

3. Employee broke his arm reaching to grab a falling sandwich.

4. Employee said the universe was telling him to take a day off.

5. Employee’s wife found out he was cheating. He had to spend the day retrieving his belongings from the dumpster.

6. Employee poked herself in the eye while combing her hair.

7. Employee said his wife put all his underwear in the washer.

8. Employee said the meal he cooked for a department potluck didn’t turn out well.

9. Employee was going to the beach because the doctor said she needed more vitamin D.

10. Employee said her cat was stuck inside the dashboard of her car.

Tweet us at @CBforEmployers: What is the most interesting excuse you have ever heard from one of your workers?