Why Offices Get More Call-Outs On Aug 24 Than Any Other Day Of The Year

August 24 has been declared "the sickest day of the year," according to new research by leave management platform Flamingo Leave Tracker. 

An analysis of sick leave information gathered from businesses across the U.S. spanning the last five years has revealed that a sunny day in late summer holds the record for more office call-outs than any other day of the year. The winner, August 24, was followed by February 13 (in second place) and October 25 (in third place). Stomach bugs, food poisoning, diarrhea, and vomiting made up 54% of the most common reasons for sick leave, while COVID-19 took up 25%. Stress, anxiety, and burnout came in third with 9%. 

Founder of Flamingo Leave Tracker, David Hehenberger told Society for Human Resource Management that the result of the survey was surprising — even to them. According to Hehenberger, "It's clear that despite the height of the pandemic a couple of years ago, COVID-19 is still having a large impact on our workforce, with a quarter of sick days taken over the last five years due to employees being affected by coronavirus. As the news has recently reported, cases in the U.S. have risen. Businesses still should expect to see absences in the workplace due to COVID-19 over the coming months." Awareness about what happens to your body when you work too much could be contributing to stress and anxiety-related days off too. 

Mental health days could be on the rise

Despite a hustle culture that may be pervasive in some offices, people are now more knowledgeable about how workaholism can take a toll on your health – especially your mental health. According to the Chief Human Resources Officer at payroll software company Paycor, Paaras Parker (via Bloomberg), mental health-related leave has seen a rise in her own company. "It's not necessarily that they have strep or a fever, but that they need a day for themselves," she shared. 

It's not just employees that are seeing the importance of mental health days. Companies are, too. 

Furthermore, according to a different study done by WFH Research, the hybrid work environment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic could be causing more people to work from home, especially if they're not feeling their best. As explained by population health leader at insurance company WTW, Jeff Levin-Scherz, (via Bloomberg), "People clearly feel more comfortable working from home when they're coughing or when their nose is very stuffy. If they feel well enough to work, they can feel more comfortable knowing they're not going to pass anything to anybody else." Other interesting findings of the Flamingo Leave Tracker research include February being named the sickest month of the year, closely followed by April and December.