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Canadian HR Reporter recently published an article featuring a thought-provoking discussion about the implications of remote work on sick leave policies. The article highlights insights from Natasha D’Cruze, co-lead of people and culture at iQmetrix in Vancouver, and Mairead Walsh, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Softworks.

The focus of the article is on Softworks’ survey, which sheds light on the need for a re-evaluation of sick leave policies as the standard of remote working is continuing.

The survey was conducted from May to June 2023 and garnered responses from 614 professionals across various industries, including HR, finance, IT, operations, and general management. An overwhelming 73% of the participants expressed the belief that workplace policies should be updated to accommodate the new hybrid and remote work arrangements.

Interestingly, 84% of the respondents felt that when they are sick, they should not be expected to work. Moreover, 70% believed that employees should not be required to be reachable while on sick leave. These findings reflect a significant shift in employees’ attitudes towards taking proper sick days in the context of remote work.

Mairead Walsh commented on the issue of remote work and its impact on the definition of being “too sick to work” and discussed the varying degrees of illness and how remote work may blur the line between working and taking time off to recover.

The survey also revealed that a significant 79% of respondents believed that employees felt compelled to work when sick, which could be attributed to the ease of communication in remote work settings. This accessibility may lead to employees feeling guilty about taking time off as they might have done in a traditional office environment.

The article further delves into the role of organizational culture in influencing employees’ decisions regarding sick leave. According to the survey, a staggering 96% of respondents felt that corporate culture significantly impacted their choices related to taking sick days.

In conclusion, the Softworks survey, as highlighted in the Canadian HR Reporter article, calls for a reevaluation of sick leave policies to better accommodate the changing dynamics of remote work. The insights shared by Natasha D’Cruze and Mairead Walsh underscore the importance of fostering a culture of trust and understanding to support employees’ health and overall well-being.

To read the full article, visit the Canadian HR Reporter page here.

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