It seems a bit counterintuitive, given that it would be risky to lie about missing work in a time when many employers are cutting jobs, not adding them, but results from CareerBuilder's annual survey show that nearly a third of employers think that employees have played hooky from the office this year due to "increased stress and burnout caused by the recession." Nearly one-third of workers have called in sick when they were well at least once, according to the survey of both workers and employers.
The vice president for HR at CareerBuilder does point out that many employees are working longer hours and heavier workloads due to work force cuts. She says nearly two-thirds of employers in the survey allow employees to use sick days for "mental health" days. Her point is a good one: "If you need time to recharge, your best bet is to be honest with your manager."
More data from the survey:
More than 1 in 10 workers (12%) who played hooky admitted to calling in sick because of something work-related, such as to miss a meeting, give themselves some more time to work on a project or avoid the wrath of a boss, colleague or client. Others missed work because they needed to go to a doctor’s appointment (31%), needed to relax (28%), catch up on sleep (16%), run personal errands (13%), catch up on housework (10%) or spend time with family and friends (10%). An additional 32% just didn’t feel like going to work that day.
The survey results include "the most unusual excuses employees gave for missing work," which employers offered up. Here are some of them:
"I woke up in Canada."
"I got caught selling an alligator."
"I'm just not into it today."
"I was injured chasing a seagull."
"My mom said I was not allowed to go to work today."