If you're reading this from your desk at work today, give yourself a high five! If you're still in your PJ's relaxed and cozy at home, you're not alone. Turns out the first Monday in February is the most popular day for employees to call in sick. Blame the dreary winter weather, lingering unpaid holiday credit card bills and a yearning for a day off before the next holiday hits in mid-February.
According to the "Sickness Absence Survey 2010" conducted by workplace management firm Kronos, at least 20% of employees have called in sick even if they really weren't. The most popular days to do it? Friday and Monday are overwhelmingly the most popular, probably for their instant three-day weekend appeal, while Tuesday seems to be the least likely day for a spontaneous holiday from the grind.
Chances are, you feel guilty making that white lie of a call, but the feeling doesn't necessarily last long. The survey found many of us justify the time off with a variety of reasons. These include feeling stressed and needing a day off (57%), not having any more paid time off (22%) and too much work looming at the office (17%). Sometimes the reasons are more family oriented, such as looking after a sick child (9%), but being afraid of asking for the time off (9%) and just wanting a day at the beach (9%) are also cited as top reasons for making that call.
So now that you've got your excuse and phone call out of the way, the question is, how to spend this impromptu time off? The majority of us must be harboring some lingering guilt, since 39% spend phony sick days in bed! After that, quality time with family and friends is a close second (35%) while spending the day vegging out in front of the TV is third (26%). Other activities cited in the survey include shopping, vacations and sporting events.
While the Kronos survey offers some interesting insight into the mind of the fake sick call - the survey was really conducted with employers in mind. Turns out sick days can affect the morale of the entire office staff if they have to pick up the slack left behind by colleagues playing office hookie. The solution could be in a more flexible work week - allowing employees to leave early on Fridays and make up the time during the rest of the week. Sounds like a decent plan...but do you have a better suggestion? Have you called in sick for no good reason? Is there a way your employer could implement a better program for short-notice time off than calling in sick? Sound off in the comments!