I often wonder if the staggering numbers of sick leave work places encounter on the first and last shift of the week (particularly in FIFO/DIDO work places) are actually all lazy people taking the piss or a more sinister underlying reason is at hand. Until I first started suffering from severe anxiety I would of thought the laziness was the answer because I to had blown my fair share back in the days of the five day week. But once my eyes were open to what your body went through prior to reentering the stress of a workplace, leaving the family for a week, sleeping in a rubbish bed and/or eating camp food. I soon began to look deeper. So many people report illness on the day before work. A lot of them almost frustrated that they got crook right then. On the opposite end of the week there were those who were heading home to marital issues, large bills, crazy households full of kids with tired mothers and the regular stresses of life that can often be forgotten about if you like your work place. This too arouses the feelings of dread often making if difficult to attend work.
I’m not trying to make excuses for all these people but the more we understand the causes and the symptoms of poor health and wellness, the sooner we can target our learnings and lessons around making sure people don’t give in to this temporary situation. As their control starts to loose its grip on their perception of wellness so does the spiral of pressure start to increase. Leaders good or bad have no choice but to apply some pressure to them to ensure they understand that these constant absenteeism’s cannot continue and unintentionally throw fuel on the fire of a possibly already anxious mind. “Jeez I’m starting to feel crook” thinks the worker the day before travel. “I cant afford another day off” they think again, worrying a little deeper. “My work mates don’t understand” the voice of doubt hammers another nail in the brains alerts notice board.
So one of two things happen from here. The worker gives in to the feelings of dread and stays home once again. Another spin on the merry-go-round of doubt. Or sometimes worse, they drag themselves through the sleepless night of ill feeling and come to work supposedly ready for action. A lose, lose situation for both them and business.
So for me the talk of ZERO HARM or INJURY FREE and such things in the workplace is something that can never really have a start and stop point. It certainly is not from the front gate of work and back out again. Its probably where we put to much focus in my opinion. Health and wellness have a lot more angles than a simple straight line. Management of the brain will almost never be the same for two people side by side.
Only you can truly know you. The real answer is often inside and not often out.