I've been indundated with 'news' around National Sickie Day today - the day of the year when absences due to sickness are highest.
Many factors explain the high absence rate, including job interviews for those spurred by the new year into jumping ship, an increase in flu and colds due to the cold weather and general malaise as the effects of dark winter mornings and evenings take their toll.
The data may suggest more people are absent on this day than any other, but to say that today is the day people are most likely to 'pull a sickie' is crude and dangerous.
I refered to dark winter mornings above - in all the press releases I've seen, this has been proposed as a 'bad' reason for being off sick. Same for 'just not feeling like getting out of bed.'
And if you really want to see the trivialisation of wellbeing, click on the guy's profile above, find the tweet I've embedded and see what someone has responded.
It ain't pretty.
But there's a silver lining...
Any occasion that puts the spotlight on a particular issue and positions society and the workplace for a discussion can have a beneficial effect.
National Sickie Day is a perfect opportunity for organisations to tackle the stigma of individual reasons for absence - that could be launching a campaign around flexible working as a way to help people individualise work, or delivering training to line managers and staff around the importance of trust for individualising the workplace.
The crux of the issue
Everyone accepts that we have different tastes in the positive experiences in life - music, film, food, drink, partners.
Yet we assume uniformity in the negative experiences of life. In how we're affected by grief. Or how illness affects us.
Jamie Lawrence is editor of global online HR publication and community HRZone.com. He is committed to driving forward the HR agenda and making sure that HR directors have the knowledge and insight necessary to make HR felt across the whole organisation. He regularly speaks to audiences of 250+ and has interviewed key HR industry names,...