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In recent years, we’re changing the way we work.

With an increase in contractors, new and improved communication technology, and innovative project management tools, many employees are cutting down on time spent in the office. Instead, they’re opting to work from home.

While word in the work world is that many larger organizations are scaling back on work-from-home perks, there’s no doubt that this shift is here to stay. And we think this makes absence tracking more crucial than ever before.

Why, you ask?

Well first there’s that ever-present, obvious answer: money. Each year, employee absences cost the UK approximately 29 billion pounds. So while we can provide our employees with the option to work from home, we need to be sure that they’re honest about whether they’re actually working from home or just taking the day off without using any precious PTO.

But though cash is king, there’s a lot more to it than money. Employee absences can tell you a lot — not only can it clue you into morale and overall job satisfaction, but it can also indicate productivity-affecting changes in an employee’s personal life. Whatever the underlying reason may be, it should be carefully considered and addressed.

So, here are some key reasons that you should be tracking employee absences:

  1. Foster organizational transparency. From understanding time-off policies to the ability to plan vacations and beyond.
  2. Streamline processes. It’s not just about who was absent and when — your absence processes can benefit your employees as well. For instance, you could set up a way to credit employees by adding time off to their balance or setting up policies for birthday PTO.
  3. Spot trends. Whether it’s a trend pertaining to the entire organization, a certain team, or a particular employee — spotting absence-related trends will allow you to be more proactive about identifying and fixing problems within your organization.
  4. Increate engagement. Delegate responsibilities to managers so they can plan and track their team’s time off or use the-time off as a compensation mechanism. Your call.

All in all, it’s worthwhile to set up a work from home policy for your employees. However, though it provides flexibility (a top priority for millennials choosing an employer) and facilitates work-life balance, it can also create certain challenges. But bear that in mind, and you can use those challenges to shed light on issues within your organization, and come up with a sound solution.

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