Idea Factor Blog

Absenteeism and the Pandemic











Absenteeism… is a problem that plagues many companies, large and small. Our company was no different….until this year.

Based on a briefing done by Sunlife Financial Group called Absenteeism Trends in Canadian Organizations Missing in Action  the rate of absenteeism for a full-time employee in 2001 was 9.3 days per year costing the Canadian economy $16.6 billion dollars in 2012.  Happy to say that we have not contributed much to that 2021 equation!

For the first time in my 25+ year tenure with Idea Factor, absenteeism in the company across all departments has fallen to almost 0.  At first, we were extremely perplexed, but then we delved into the reasons why.

With employees running the gamut between remote schooling and daycare issues, managing family healthcare, spouses being laid off or having work hours reduced, and all the other stressful Covid induced events that have taken place over the last 8+ months, employee attendance and KPI’s have actually greatly improved.

Here’s why.  Like most, we struggled with how to re-open and make everyone feel safe, maintain full, un-interrupted services to our customers, and meet all provincial legislation around opening.  So, we came up with the following:

We split our staff, including management, into Alternating Teams, Team A and Team B.  Week 1 Team A works onsite, and Team B is remote, the next week Team B is onsite, and Team A is remote.  This checked all our boxes and ensured business continuity for our clients should an incident of Covid occur at our physical location or someone in either group test positive.

What we did not plan or expect, was the residual benefits.  Employees are better able to manage the everyday items that crop up during their home week, still meet the full responsibility of their position, and were much happier and emotionally fulfilled.  This resulted in better KPI scores across the board.  Things like setting up doctors or dentist appointments, getting your car serviced, communicating with your child’s teacher, prepping dinner, or just managing the anxiety from the pandemic or everyday life is easily managed when you are able to work at home two weeks out of four in a month.  Giving our employees the cadence needed to manage their familial, personal and emotional lives benefitted everyone. Who knew?

Idea Factor provides a full suite of marketing services including B2B lead generation (gathering qualified sales leads), surveys, data mapping, event tele-boosting, trade show follow up, in-bound and out-bound omni-channel call center services, data cleansing, list cleaning, customer retention and loyalty programs.

Our commitment to excellence in customer service has awarded us repeat business for more than 25 years, from both our global and community clients. To find out more go to or look at our list of services here.