How did you handle the “Super Sickie”? Practical ways to Improve Business Performance with telephone systems

Posted 4th February 2014
By Matt Watts


Yesterday was, statistically speaking, the day that you were most likely to have lost members of staff to illness. The Employment Law Advisory Services (ELAS) notes that first Monday of February costs the UK economy around £34m in lost production and opportunities.  Dubbed the “Super Sickie” in the US due to it being the day after the NFL’s Superbowl, there is no doubt that such levels of absence can be a disruption, so how can you minimise the impact on your business? The below are a few best practice steps for your business phone system to help in the event of staff member’s absence:

1. Call Divert

Rather than requiring a colleague to answer an absentee’s phone whenever it rings, using the basic call divert function can save time and effort.

2. Voicemail

If there is nobody else in the office that can deal with the calls which would normally go to the absentee, switching their phone to Out of the Office and sending all calls straight to Voicemail can be a practical way of removing disruption.  This option works well if your company has a reception taking the majority of calls, as they can then offer the voicemail option to incoming callers.

3. Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)

If your company is of a size where staff may not be immediately aware of a colleague’s absence, CTI can vastly reduce wasted time. CTI allows you see via your computer whether a colleague is in the office and whether they are free to take you call, saving time on waiting to see if they answer.

We’ve helped thousands of businesses improve their productivity and efficiency by providing business phone systems that provide these features (amongst others) at no additional cost.  If you’d like to talk to us to see if we can do the same for you, please contact us.


Comment on this article


    Prim Maxwell

    We are an SME and we were losing around £17k per annum on sick pay. I changed the policy to not pay for sick leave and make it discretionary. Their are times when the sicknesss is genuine and member of staffs are very committed and are rarely sick then in those circumstances we would pay but not for casual sickness. This policy has stopped people taking too many sick days as they will be losing money from their salary.

      Matt Watts

      Hi Prim, thanks for your comment. We’ve heard of a number of companies who have done a similar thing to you, it’s a valid way to combat sickness levels. With this blog we were looking at ways to help your other staff deal with their absence but it’s certainly worth addressing the sickness itself too. Thanks again for your comment.