None of us are new to sick days, but have you ever pulled a “sickie” just because you really, really didn’t want to go on that day? If you haven’t, you may be in the minority.
New research carried out has revealed that a shocking amount of employees are willing to use a wide range of excuses to get out of going in. But not all excuses are considered equal. When asked what excuses would score their employees a sick day off, no questions asked, 45% of employers and managers said that diarrhoea was the one. We can’t say we’re particularly surprised, as who wants that in the office?
It seems like employees are cottoning on, though, with this being the second most common reason given by employees. The first is also related to the air-tight diarrhoea excuse, it’s just a little more polite and demure.
Most Common Reasons for Calling in Sick
- Food Poisoning 28.60%
- Diarrhoea 25.70%
- I’m tired 11.50%
- I’m not feeling well 8.70%
- I fell over in the shower and knocked myself out 5.70%
That’s not all this study unearthed, either. It turns out that men are more likely to invent a reason not to go to work. 35.9% of men are willing to use a fake and even bizarre excuse to skip work, while only 20.5% of women are willing to do the same.
When asked what excuse would most likely be believed if an employee called in sick, managers and employers aren’t taking tons of excuses, either. While the study provided 50 different excuse options, all found on Reddit, LinkedIn and Google, 90% of the managers questioned would only accept one of the top five reasons.
Top Five Excuses According to Managers
- Diarrhoea 45%
- Food Poisoning 25%
- I’m sick 10%
- I have a bad cramp in my leg 5%
- I’m tired 5%
While most of us would likely think “I’m sick” falls a bit short of the mark, 10% of managers don’t need to know anything more. A further 5% would accept tiredness or a bad cramp, indicating that UK businesses may be moving closer and closer to that sought-after work-life balance that prioritises happy, healthy employees.
A spokesperson from Guardian Support said, “happy, healthy employees should indeed be the goal. Research and anecdotal evidence have shown that employees are more engaged and productive when satisfied with their work-life balance. A reasonably accepting policy on sickness and absence may, therefore, actually benefit businesses and increase their output.”
Next time you feel the need to pull a “sickie” to get out of work, what excuse will you pull out of your pocket? The good old trusty diarrhoea excuse? Let’s just hope your boss hasn’t heard about its popularity!
*Research from Guardian Support