Businesses Listen Up – Un-Sick Days – the latest fad or worthwhile benefit?
Un-Sick Days are partly what the name implies – they are days when your employee calls in to work to say they’re not coming in. The catch is, these days are specifically for scheduling and keeping annual medical check-ups, dental cleanings, eye exams, skin screenings, etc.
You know a healthy employee is a better, more productive employee, right? Well we can all help our employees be healthier people. This idea was introduced by Zocdoc, a website that promotes making things easier for patients with on-line scheduling, pre-appointment forms and other streamlining, time saving type applications.
It’s been adopted by a few companies, and more are looking into it every day. According to Zocdoc, almost 90% of employees cancel these types of appointments all the time because they feel guilty about leaving or just can’t take the time. As a result, health conditions that could be caught and treated early are not.
Corporate cultures tend to frown on employees taking time off and employees feel this strongly, so it’s up to employers to change that. Not only make it okay to take the time off for appointments, but encourage it by offering one un-sick day per year, just for this reason.
Half of employees feel that taking time off for preventive appointments hurts their chances for promotions. Many companies typically frown on employees taking any kind of time off, including vacation time, and employees feel that pressure. They feel they will be judged harshly or penalized if they take time off for preventive check-ups.
Think of it this way: the leading conditions that increase employer health costs are depression, anxiety, obesity, back and neck pain, and arthritis. If your business can look at this issue proactively, the cost of preventive healthcare is much less than later treatment, or dealing with less-than-productive employees who come to work with those conditions.
Some businesses may respond that they already provide PTO or paid-time-off which, theoretically, your employees can use for anything, correct? The difference here is that un-sick days are when you encourage your employees to take care of their annual health check-ups. There’s a subtle difference.
When we encourage our employees to take care of themselves, everybody benefits. Employees are less-stressed, healthier and happier, and companies will see the results in more productive people and lower healthcare costs.