Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The economy ate my doctor's note

Looks like the economy is a reason that people are calling in sick. Yup, they are sick of working long hours, sick of the stress, sick of doing the work of three laid-off colleagues, sick of worried that they are going to be fired, sick of looking perky to avoid being fired. Some 28 percent of employers surveyed about "hooky" days think more employees are calling in sick because of stress and burnout according to the economy.

The economy ate my doctor's note

Looks like the economy is a reason that people are calling in sick. Yup, they are sick of working long hours, sick of the stress, sick of doing the work of three laid-off colleagues, sick of worried that they are going to be fired, sick of looking perky to avoid being fired. Some 28 percent of employers surveyed about "hooky" days think more employees are calling in sick because of stress and burnout according to the economy.

"Longer hours and heavier workloads are common in the current economic climate and employers are becoming more flexible with their time off policies," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, the online job site that surveyed 3,163 hiring managers and 4,721 workers in late August and early September. "Sixty-three percent of companies we surveyed said they let their team members use sick days for mental health days."

About a third of the employees admitted to calling in sick at least once a year with most of them saying they just didn't feel like coming in. Nearly a third said they called in sick to go to the doctor. Sleep, housework and errand running were other reasons and one in 10 used the time to spend with their families. Interestingly, 12 percent called in sick because of a work-related reason -- sometimes to give themselves more time to finish projects for work or to avoid a meeting or the wrath of boss, colleague or client.

The part about the economy rings true. But I also like the idea of blaming the economy. At least it's good for something. Do think if the economy were better I could play the violin?

About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at jvonbergen@phillynews.com.

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
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