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Seasonal Absence Syndrome

The practice of playing hooky from work to enjoy the sunshine now has a clinical name: Seasonal Absence Syndrome. And according to a recent study sponsored by Kronos Incorporated, four out of ten full-time employees have experienced symptoms of SAS; in other words, they admitted to calling in sick to get an extra day off from work. And, not surprisingly to any manager, employees are most susceptible to the SAS virus on Mondays and Fridays.

Good news! One local company I know has discovered a treatment for SAS. They have immunized their employees with a special summer work schedule: instead of working eight to five Monday through Friday, employees work 8:30-5:30 Monday through Thursday and take off every Friday afternoon. Once the summer/SAS season ends, it's back to the traditional timetable.

In a separate Kronos survey, 98 percent of workers said they have gone to work when they were ill. So maybe it all evens out. But if your employees don't utilize their sick days when they're under the weather, and your healthy workers abuse their sick days to play outdoors, your organization's productivity is suffering. Perhaps it's time you found your own cure for Seasonal Absence Syndrome.

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