A new study by PwC has revealed that UK workers take more sick days than their American
counterparts, despite US employees working longer hours and having shorter holidays.
With the average UK salary at about 25,000 employee absence is costing UK business approximately
Commenting on the results, Richard Phelps, HR consulting partner at PwC, described absenteeism
as being "a malaise for British business".
"With sickness accounting for the lion's share of absence, the question for employers is what
can be done to improve health, morale and motivation," he stated. "The line between 'sickie' and
'sickness' can be blurred, with disenchantment at work sometimes exacerbating medical conditions or
preventing a speedy return."
One can't help wonder whether the stats are related to "unhappiness". A recent survey conducted
by Badenock Clark revealed that almost a quarter (22.8%) of workers are unhappy in their current
job, with a third (30.5%) being neither happy nor unhappy. The findings are a marked difference to
figures released in 2010 which reported that over three quarters (78%) had high levels of happiness
Speaking on their findings, Heidi Waddington, Associate Director at Badenoch and Clark stated,
"It is important that organisations foster an environment where their employees are able to develop
a strong sense of self worth. Failure to do so may result in loss of talent, which in turn will
lead to loss of potential revenue. Our findings demonstrate that happiness is high on the agenda
for many UK workers and is emerging as the critical business issue of our time."
There's no doubt that the rise in inflation and the recession are hitting people hard, combine
this with lack of job security and there's little wonder that happiness at work and absenteeism is
at a year-long low.
As businesses continue to struggle and economic stability is still in the recovery stage,
sometimes it's prudent to start being more pro-active ourselves. We love Susan M Heathfield's
article on Ten Ways to be Happy at Work listing simple but important tips on improving overall
happiness at work:
1. Choose to Be Happy at Work
2. Do Something You Love Every Single Day
3. Take Charge of Your Own Professional and Personal Development
4. Take Responsibility for Knowing What Is Happening at Work
5. Ask for Feedback Frequently
6. Make Only Commitments You Can Keep
7. Avoid Negativity
8. Practice Professional Courage
9. Make Friends with your Colleagues
10. If All Else Fails, Job Searching Will Make You Smile