According to the popular adage, what you don’t know can’t hurt you. However, in many cases, the reverse is also true – what you don’t know can’t help you either. When it comes to staff absences, it’s crucial to know as much as possible.

The more data on employee absence you have at your disposal, the better you can prepare for them. Collecting and analysing absence data can reveal patterns, which would otherwise go unnoticed, that enable you to make better strategic decisions.

With that as our goal, let’s look at the best ways to use absence data within your business

Identifying absence trends for individual employees

One of the main benefits of collecting absence data is to identify patterns for particular members of staff. Usually, it’s pretty easy to notice if an employee is calling in sick a lot, but other patterns aren’t so easy to spot. For instance, what if you come to discover that an employee tends to call in sick on certain days of the week (namely a Friday or Monday)? Or, if they always seem to be absent for the same number of days every time?

Now, this could mean nothing and merely be coincidental, but there’s also a chance said employee isn’t being entirely honest about their reasons for not coming into work. With the right data, you can identify potential issues and address them before they escalate.

Identifying employees who aren’t taking enough annual leave

Absence data is also invaluable for highlighting members of staff who aren’t using their annual leave allowance. Having this information to hand allows you to easily spot which employees have worked long periods without a day off and could be on the verge of burning out. With the right data, you can prevent this from happening and suggest they take some time off – before they’re forced to.

To determine every reason for employee absence

Recording and analysing absence data reveals all the reasons your employees have been absent over a specified period. Now, while most absences, such as annual leave are inevitable, you may come to find that you have more influence over other reasons for absence than you realised.

If, for instance, you discover that an unusually high number of your staff frequently suffer from headaches, you may need to address the lighting in your office. Similarly, if you have increasingly high incidences of neck pain or backache, it might be wise to look at your office furniture. There could be a myriad of reasons your employees are taking sick days which you could help prevent.

In addition, you may occasionally be faced with an employee being absent for a reason you hadn’t accounted for and, consequently, couldn’t prepare for. Worse still, if said employee is an instrumental part of your company, having no contingency could result in a productivity bottleneck and seriously impact your business. Worse still, said employee could be a crucial part of the business and their absence negatively impacted the business. By taking note of each new absence you’re faced with, as well as how you plan to deal with it going forward, you’ll be better prepared in the event it happens again.


Absence data is only useful to your business if you consistently collect and analyse it. Our online leave management system allows you to do this effortlessly, storing data on every absence you record and allowing you to create comprehensive reports on staff absence for any period. 

See what it can do for your business with our free, no-obligation trial