Leaders can take days off without worry when they’ve delegated responsibilities, have a backup workflow plan and have built a high level of trust, writes Calendar CEO John Rampton. “In short, by allowing your team to work however and whenever they please, without fear of you looking over their shoulders, they’ll be engaged and motivated with their work,” Rampton writes.



It’s not surprising that job absences surged in 2020 with the world dealing with a devastating global pandemic. And the effects are still being felt as we near the end of 2021. An analysis of federal labor market data by USA TODAY shows that workers called in sick more in 2020 than at any time in the past two decades.

The survey found that 1.5 million people had to miss work each month because of their “own illness/injury/medical problems. In addition, a quarter-million people a month miss work because of child care problems, an increase of 250% over 2019.

“Certainly, quarantines and illnesses due to the virus caused increased absences, as did the challenges for working parents who found themselves playing the part of the teacher, child care worker, and employee,” says Colleen Madden, a spokeswoman for Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement company which helps with job searches, executive coaching, and corporate restructuring.

“All of these stressors likely caused employee burnout in many workers as well, which also leads to absenteeism.” Furthermore, workers who missed work for other, unspecified reasons also increased dramatically. In 2019, the highest number of workers in this category in a single month was 1.27 million. On average, 2.5 million were employed in this category monthly in 2020.

Additionally, the pandemic accelerated the remote or hybrid work trends. An Upwork survey projects that by 2025, 36,2 million Americans will work remotely, an increase of 87% from pre-pandemic levels. Also, a Slack survey shows that 72% of workers prefer the hybrid model.