Employees are likely "feeling that they do not have a supervisor or organisation culture in which they can freely take time off without being met with ridicule or challenge".
You wake up pre-dawn to squeeze in a jog into your busy work day ahead, and the first thing you see on your phone? A message from a staffer asking for the day off. Being a hands-on leader, you have a fair idea of whether the reason is genuine or an excuse. Sounds familiar?
Well, in possible consolation to those making up excuses to miss work, it seems that there is enough Google search data to identify the most common phrases employees search for before shooting off a message.
According to data collated by Frank Recruitment Group, the following are the 10 most popular Google searches, over a five-year period, on excuses to miss work:
|Search Terms||Total 2018||Total 2019||Total 2020||Total 2021||Total 2022||Total Searches 2018-2022|
|Calling in sick||59,400||73,200||33,000||261,530||385,780||812,910|
|Best excuses for missing work||34,800||31,300||4,800||459,270||246,500||776,670|
|Excuses to miss work||52,800||52,800||48,800||177,050||219,180||550,630|
|Excuse to miss work||640||0||0||216,080||304,910||521,630|
|Excuses for missing work||3,320||0||0||174,250||241,430||419,000|
|Realistic excuses for missing work||0||0||0||173,910||234,870||408,780|
|Good excuses to miss work||69,600||33,000||0||96,640||147,220||346,460|
|Best excuses to miss work||17,540||31,300||4,800||104,950||153,320||311,910|
|Believable excuses for missing work||5,910||0||0||111,740||168,730||286,380|
|Calling out sick||61, 580||19,800||21,000||88,760||128,300||319,440|
Rowan O' Grady, President of Americas, Frank Recruitment, commented: "Seeing search volumes jump so drastically across the board in 2021 is definitely interesting. It seems to coincide with the beginning of the return to office which tells us that this hasn’t been the easiest transition for everybody."
Discussing the reasons people might be searching for excuses they can give to miss work, wellness coach Dr Shané P. Teran said employees are likely "feeling that they do not have a supervisor or organisation culture in which they can freely take time off without being met with ridicule or challenge".
Dr Teran also emphasised the return to office requires care on the part of employers. "A number of people are not experiencing the grace and understanding from employers that they need; which leads to a resolve of faking it but escaping by any means necessary. People are needing to take more time off in order to manage the long-lasting stressors that come with readjustment."
So what should employers be looking to do to better support employees so they won’t be looking for ways to miss work? Dr Teran noted: "Employers must find a balance amongst competing interests – revenue recovery and employee wellbeing."
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