by Dave Anderson
July 3, 2014
Hey, Cameron. You realize if we played by the rules right now we’d be in Gym?” Ferris Bueller
Have you ever woken up, decided you just couldn’t face work and thrown a sickie?
If you have, did you mope around all day in a state of quasi-illness feeling somehow less dishonest because you at least went through the motions of being poorly? Perhaps you even managed to muster all your psychosomatic powers to silence your conscience with a real headache or bout of vomiting? If you try hard enough you can usually make yourself ill, but what’s the point? You’ve got an entire day at your disposal, maybe two. Choose a Thursday and Friday and you’ve got a serious long weekend to play with. You may feel less guilty if you stay at home having a miserable time, but it makes precious little difference to your employer where you are. In fact, if you don’t make the most of your illicit leisure time you’re not only defrauding them now, but you’ll still be carrying a full load of stress and grief when you eventually go back.
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My own, admittedly chronically informal, research confirms that those workers who skive most artfully are also the most creative and dynamic in the workplace. Their stress levels are lower and their motivation is higher. OK, they may only actually be at work for a fraction of the time their more diligent coworkers put in, but to dwell on that would be to miss the point in the most churlish, small minded way imaginable. We must take a holistic view of this: it’s not how long you’re there for but what you do while you’re there that counts. Another thing: how can you truly measure your worth to your employer unless you occasionally dip out in order to find out how badly you’re missed? Enlightened bosses should treat such bouts of absenteeism as constructive individual efforts by workers to monitor their value to the organisation. What could be more responsible than that?