Staff lateness and disengagement have increased by 150% since 2020, according to statistics released today by BrightHR. The HR software experts have crunched the numbers from over one million employees to reveal valuable insights on staff absence trends as well as advice to help businesses better prepare for the future.
Jess van der Walt, Head of Operations at BrightHR ANZ says,
“There’s been a lot of talk around staff disengagement recently, and our figures only prove the scale of the issue employers are up against. All companies expect employees to be punctual and productive during working hours, so understanding and addressing the reasons for lateness and disengagement is so important.
“This is where BrightHR software can help. Our apps can help recognise patterns, like which day has the highest rate of absence, which sporting event, or even what kind of weather has the biggest impact on attendance.
“Last year we saw massive bus strikes in NSW, with 300 bus drivers in Newcastle going on strike on both Friday the 3rd and Monday the 20th of June. Unsurprisingly, this had a significant impact on commuters looking to get to work. The disruption was made clear by our timekeeping app, Blip, which recorded an 11% rise in lateness on the first day—compared to an average Friday in 2022—and a staggering 191% lateness on the second day—compared to an average Monday in 2022.
“While fans made the AFL Grand Final—which saw the Geelong Cats play the Sydney Swans—the most watched TV sports event in Australia last year, it was Netflix’s Stranger Things season 4 release that led to the most unplanned absences in 2022. The season premiere on Friday the 27th of May shot unplanned absences 24% higher than the average Friday. The release of the final episodes on Friday the 1st of July pushed unplanned absences 37% higher than the average Friday.
“In another surprising twist, the supposed saddest day of the year—Blue Monday—had no impact on staff lateness. But when Australia recorded its highest temperature of 50.7°C on Thursday, the 13th of January there was a 44% increase in annual leave requests. The impact of the weather on attendance is another key trend that SMEs should pay attention to.
“Quiet quitting has also been hitting headlines, and the increase in lateness we’ve spotted seems to reflect the most widespread disengagement we’ve seen in the workforce for many years. Our timekeeping software tracked a 50% rise in average lateness between 2021 and 2022. This is a shocking 150% increase compared to the numbers we were seeing in 2020. Employers will certainly be setting their sights on putting an end to this trend in 2023.
“So, what lessons can businesses take away from these findings? To sum it all up, proper people management is essential for the success of any business. It doesn’t just increase productivity, it also saves you time, money, and effort.
“The right HR software could be the tool you need to create a better connection between yourself and your employees. It can help create, and sustain, a healthy working environment, with highly motivated staff who are honest about the time off that they need.
“Most importantly, it streamlines the people management process, saving you time and allowing you to focus your efforts on what you do best—running your business.”