Being absent on the job

There are different kinds of absenteeism at work.

But how is this translated in daily life?


Either you don’t listen what your manager is saying, you’re doing (actually working) boring tasks but thinking of something else such as what will you have for lunch, which destination to chose for your holiday or what your family is doing this is what I funny called “working and not thinking”:) 

When the activity of constantly looking at the watch is more tiring and overwhelming than the work itself, when you start to feel dizzy and tired before arriving at work, it means that you are absent.

Maybe you found yourself or you met someone who is just on the phone when is needed, down the hall, engaged in some mysterious projects, or just on his way to lunch. This are simply “warm bodies at work when they can simply be at home. 

In a team, how can a “absent worker” answer if you ask them for suggestions? They can “miraculously” be the last person to speak and guess what, they will say exactly what the previous person just said. You invite them for an opinion and they will naturally agree with yours, if it’s turning a wrong one they’d say that they knew from the beginning that will not working. Either you notice or not, always “absent workers” they will claim that they contribute to the team’s achievements no matter what you’re doing.

But the truth is that they really contribute to the company’s costs list:

– productivity lags,

– watching them getting away with their absence, lead to the resentment of other “present workers” and eventually their motivation will be diminished,

– the whole team performance will begin to suffer.

So, what to do then?

Tips to deal with boring tasks, from the “absent worker’s” point of view:

1. Reward yourself every time you finish a boring task with a dinner out or a trip

2. Remind yourself how important your work is, how many people actually depend upon you

3. Volunteer for a cause or project that is completely new for you and your routine

4. Seek yourself tasks that are relevant for you, make the most of your time spent within that company. Is good for your work confidence but also for your CV

5. One of the most important: seek out the company of non-cynics. 

6. Focus on CREATIVITY not boredom. We all have to do boring tasks from time to time, but we don’t have to complete them in the same dull manner. If you are a data input, count the numbers of lines you do for one hour or check how many lines you ca introduce with your non-dominant hand.


The 5 questions model to deal with absenteeism:

A. Ask myself what is causing my absence at work?

B. Which activities/parts of the project do I really dislike?

C. How would I like to feel instead at work?

D. What parts of the projects do I enjoy doing it and how can I get more of that?

E. What options do I have in my power/responsibility to change the way I feel at work?

NOTE: No matter what is the cause of your absenteeism at work, maybe a dull project, a project which looks impossible to complete it, a dead end project or a thankless project, the idea is that you CAN DO something to motivate yourself and to spread the positive and warm energy with others colleagues. Not only that you’ll start to be present but also you’ll feel that your work has a meaning and your performance will be improved.




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