How can you keep the business running in case of absence of employees due to the pandemic?

Covid-19 is still shaking the world and pushing for readjustment of corporate lives. However, no matter how threatening the situation becomes, people are still working, interacting, and travelling. As a result, there is exposure to infection; either for your employees or their dependants. This can lead to absence if they or their dependents fall ill.

As a business leader, you may have realized that the pre-Covid absence management tactics are not applicable or as effective. Whether it is because of burnout, stress, infection, quarantine, or travel restrictions, many people are being pushed out of the workplace for a while and when they least expect. And since no one knows when things will get back to “normal”, planning for absence is necessary for seamless flow of operations.

Listed below are examples of preventive and curative measures in case of absence of employees.

Extending the knowledge – anyone is vulnerable to the physical and mental challenges that Covid-19 is posing. If only specific individuals are skilled to handle certain tasks and there are no efforts of educating promising candidates, there is a risk of work being halted if such individuals fail to report. Training, for example about leadership and management cushions the company from the challenges that follow if some individuals are absent.

Closely monitoring changes in productivity or general health– Closely monitoring the behavior of your team to identify signs of struggle or inquiring about their health can help you to take the appropriate action early. Actions may be advising the affected individuals on what to do to prevent full-blown effects or seeking a replacement until they recover.

Taking quick actions when employees seek leave for medical care – the pandemic is affecting people in different ways. Some march forward to seek leave when they feel something is off rather than waiting for the symptoms to manifest fully. Allowing them to seek medical help as soon as they report can prevent infections in the workplace and long-term absence. You should, however, be keen to ensure that employees aren’t taking advantage and citing the pandemic to get time off.

Revamping communication channels- the essence of communication in the workplace cannot be emphasized enough. As a business leader, creating an environment where people feel a sense of belonging can reduce the impact of the pandemic on them and eventually, time away from the workplace. They can open up about their struggles and in a way, help others who may be struggling but have been masking it.

Reviewing absenteeism reports – such reports can give you a glimpse of the people who are mostly affected by the pandemic and are vulnerable. The information comes in handy in selecting preventive and curative measures.

Emphasizing on preventive measures- some people are no longer as cautious as they were when the pandemic started. Some flaunt all preventive measures such as social distancing and personal hygiene following the belief that the pandemic is a scare tactic for some individuals to enrich themselves. As a business leader, emphasizing on the seriousness of taking care will make the difference between having empty offices and a team in operation. For this, educate and ensure that preventive measures are adhered to in the workplace.

Championing for self-care– when working from home, some people are unable to draw the line between work and home. Others are using work to keep the connection going especially if they are alone or escape from challenges that may be in their homes. In such cases, the probability of physical and mental challenges is very high. Educating about the importance of rest goes a long way into keeping your people on their desks.

Offer support to those who may have been affected – supporting those who are away from office due to different reasons, whether it is physically, fiscally, or emotionally can reduce the weight of the pandemic on them and the time spent from work. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the appropriate way of caring for your team’s wellbeing in the midst of the pandemic.

Temporary employees – seeking temporary assistance when some individuals are away from work will keep the business running rather than over-burdening others as it can start a tide of absence due to burnout. Luckily, with the rise of the gig economy, you have infinite options on your fingertips to keep the business running.


In conclusion,

Absence of employees especially in the midst of a pandemic is unpredictable. However, you are not totally helpless. Planning how to manage absenteeism if it happens is an ideal way of preventing financial losses and inconveniences to your clients.