This Sunday, November 5 daylight saving time ends, meaning clocks will “fall” back an hour. With shorter days, colder temperatures, and the anticipation of holidays, many employees start to feel less motivated at work. This time of year also usually marks the beginning of cold and flu season. All of these factors contribute to more employee absences at work during the winter. While there are some things that employers can do to try to reduce employee absences, employees should also be making an effort to maintain good attendance throughout the year. Read more on how you can improve your attendance, even in the winter.
Know your workplace expectations.
Make sure you understand your company’s attendance policy. Keep track of how much sick and vacation time you have, and be sure you don’t exceed it. Within a workplace, different department supervisors may have different expectations and consequences for time off. Talk to your manager to make sure you clearly understand what is expected of you. If you’re thinking about missing work, consider how your absence affects the company and your coworkers, who may have to pick up your slack. If you’re discouraged or dissatisfied at work, it’s best to communicate with your employer rather than to repeatedly miss work.
Sometimes it’s easy to get in a rut, and tempting to take a day or two off of work for a change. Instead of missing work, consider other ways to change your schedule like setting goals and incentives for yourself. For instance, after a month of perfect attendance, reward yourself by going out to dinner with friends or taking a weekend trip. In addition to personal goals, consider how absences contribute to work ambitions you might have. You’re more likely to be eligible for raises, promotions, and other workplace rewards if you’re a reliable, productive worker.
One of the most common reasons for winter absences is sickness. While it’s not completely preventable, there are things you can do to reduce your chances of getting sick. Make sure you and your family wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs. Drink plenty of water, exercise, eat well, and be sure to get your flu vaccination.
Stay positive and don’t overwhelm yourself.
Often, less sunlight, more time indoors, and an abundance of holiday obligations can make people feel a little depressed. Keep in mind that it’s normal to feel a little down during this time of year, and remind yourself that it will pass. Try to stay positive by making small changes, like going outside for some sun during your lunch break or eating more foods with vitamin D. Schedule fun things to look forward to and practice ways to manage stress.
Of course, even if you try your best to have good attendance, occasionally you might legitimately have to miss work. Just be sure to keep open communication with your employer so he or she understands why you’re out. For more workplace tips, check out the Penmac blog each week.