Employers Share Most Unusual Excuses Employees Gave for Calling in Sick
Playing hooky isn't just for Ferris Bueller. In the past year, 30 percent of workers have called in sick when not actually ill, keeping on par with previous years. Sick days, legitimate or otherwise, also become more frequent around the winter holidays, with nearly one-third of employers reporting more employees call in sick during the holiday season.
Twenty-nine percent of employers have checked up on an employee to verify that the illness is legitimate, usually by requiring a doctor’s note or calling the employee later in the day. Some employers have had other employees call a suspected faker (18 percent) or even gone so far as to drive by the employee’s home (14 percent). Seventeen percent of employers have fired employees for giving a fake excuse.
Home for the Holidays
Thirty-one percent of employers notice an uptick in sick days around the winter holidays. This helps make December the most popular month to call in sick, with 20 percent saying their employees call in the most during that month. July is the next most popular month to skip out on work, followed by January and February.
At Least You Have Your Health
Not all sick days are spent under piles of blankets with a thermometer and maximum-strength medicine. Next to actually being sick, the most common reasons employees call in sick are because they just don’t feel like going to work (34 percent), or because they felt like they needed to relax (29 percent). Others take the day off so they can make it to a doctor’s appointment (22 percent), catch up on sleep (16 percent), or run some errands (15 percent).
Some workers come up with slightly more colorful explanations for their absences. When asked to share the most memorable excuses, employers reported the following real-life examples:
Employees sobriety tool wouldn't allow the car to start
Employee forgot he had been hired for the job
Employee said her dog was having a nervous breakdown
Employee's dead grandmother was being exhumed for a police investigation
Employee's toe was stuck in a faucet
Employee said a bird bit her
Employee was upset after watching “The Hunger Games”
Employee got sick from reading too much
Employee was suffering from a broken heart
Employee's hair turned orange from dying her hair at home
Research Tackles Mounting Risks from Mobile Devices in the Enterprise
RSA, The Security Division of EMC, released a new research report from the Security for Business Innovation Council (SBIC) that addresses the continued surge of consumer mobile devices in the enterprise and shares security leaders' insights on how to manage the fast-changing mobility risks while maximizing business opportunities.
Mobile threats are developing quickly and technologies keep shifting creating new security holes. As more and more consumer devices access corporate networks and store corporate data, potentially devastating consequences range from the loss or leakage of valuable intellectual property to brand damage if fraudulent access results in a high-profile security breach. The Council consensus is that the time is now for enterprises to integrate risk management into their mobile vision. The potential benefits include increased agility, improved productivity, faster sales, and reduced costs. Capitalizing on the business opportunities of mobile computing is only possible if enterprises know the risks and how to manage them.
In the report, the Council presents five strategies for building effective, adaptable mobile programs:
Establish mobile governance – Organizations should engage cross-functional teams to set clear ground rules. Every mobile project should start by defining business goals, including expectations of cost savings or revenue generation, and by establishing the level of risk that the organization is willing to accept to achieve those goals.
Create an action plan for the near-term – Mobile security technologies are fast-moving and, in many cases, too nascent to allow organizations to make long-term mobile security investments. The Council lays out several stop gap measures and key steps to take over the next 12-18 months.
Build core competencies in mobile app security – Knowing how to design mobile apps in a way that protects corporate data is absolutely critical, yet many information security teams do not have the necessary level of expertise. The Council emphasizes it's not just about bolting on security, but requires a careful examination of the app's overall functionality and architecture, and they provide key design criteria.
Integrate mobility into long-term vision – Numerous trends are affecting long-term risk management planning. Organizations need to update their approach to security including risk-based, adaptive authentication; network segmentation; data-centric security controls; and cloud-based gateways.
Expand mobile situational awareness – Corporate security teams should deepen and continually refresh their understanding of the mobile ecosystem.
PwC Survey finds that Private Companies see Business Benefits in Formal Corporate Governance
A large majority of private companies (80%) are adopting specific corporate governance practices to help them successfully navigate an increasingly complex and volatile business landscape, according to PwC US’s latest Private Company Trendsetter Barometer survey. Corporate governance at those companies takes the form of official policies promoting oversight and accountability in a variety of areas, including financial reporting, corporate strategy, and risk management. Nearly all (89%) of private companies that embrace corporate governance appear to do so voluntarily.
Balancing Immediate Concerns with the Long View
Although private companies do not face the short-term, quarterly-earnings pressure that their public counterparts confront, financial concerns remain pressing for many private businesses in today's still-challenging economy. A majority of Trendsetter companies are nonetheless applying corporate governance principles to long-term corporate strategy. An even greater percentage, however, are applying those principles to more-immediate issues, such as financial reporting and fiscal planning. Private companies are less focused on succession planning -- just one-third of them have a formal, documented succession plan.
Main areas of corporate governance at private companies:
Survey: U.S. Corporations Aim to Tackle IT Challenges with Cloud Computing
Forty-four percent of U.S. executives aim to tackle current IT challenges through leveraging cloud solutions, and they are planning to invest more in cloud computing in the future. That is the finding of an IDC survey commissioned by T-Systems. Corporations expect cloud computing to deliver lower IT costs (26 percent) and to enable them to replace legacy systems (21 percent) and adopt new applications more flexibly (14 percent).
Cloud computing is seen as most likely to deliver solutions for Customer Relationship Management (31 percent), productivity tools like email, collaboration or Office packages (28 percent), online stores, and Enterprise Relationship Management (26 percent each).
Corporations continue to have reservations about security, but they are no longer the decisive criterion against cloud. The concept of security now extends to issues such as how cloud computing will impact compliance requirements or data availability. That is prompting corporations to consider the right cloud type and cloud service needed. Enterprises see an opportunity in the private cloud for providers to fulfill their security requirements and agree on service level agreements. 40 percent of U.S. respondents have implemented a private cloud strategy while only 13 percent are relying on public cloud and 16 percent on hybrid cloud solutions.
In the course of adopting cloud computing, enterprises are increasingly considering new service providers, and they are also considering providers whose services they have not previously used. In ERP more than half are considering providers with whom they have had no previous experience.
Survey Exposes Concerns about Employee Privacy for BYOD
Fiberlink, a provider of cloud-based solutions for secure mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM), announced the results of a Harris survey revealing that business users are alarmed about employers' ability to access and collect personally identifiable information (PII) through mobile devices, such as iPhones, iPads and Androids.
As the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend sweeps across the business world, it raises a significant management challenge for companies and has implications that go beyond the IT department. Although many may not know it, some employers are able to track employee locations during work and non-work hours, which applications they've installed and review or delete personal pictures and music.
The survey found that business users are overwhelmingly concerned, and would not allow employers to have this access into their personal lives.
The results show significant employee concern:
82 percent of respondents consider this ability to be "tracked" an invasion of their privacy. Tracking is easily accomplished through a number of technologies built into most of the popular smartphones. Tracking with an MDM solution can be accomplished using GPS and triangulation, which provides a company with a way to locate where a device is physically located.
Similarly, 76 percent of respondents would not give their employer access to view what applications are installed on their personal device. What users install on their personal device is considered private information.
75 percent of respondents would not allow their employer to install an app on their personal phone which gives the company the ability to locate them during work and non-work hours in exchange for receiving corporate email and gaining access to other corporate resources.
Business users expressed a great deal of concern about their employers looking into their lives. In fact, very few respondents expressed no concern.
82 percent are concerned to extremely concerned about their employers tracking websites they browse on personal devices during non-work time
86 percent are concerned to extremely concerned about the unauthorized deletion of their personal pictures, music, and email profiles
Only 15 percent are not at all concerned about employers tracking their location during non-work time
Only 15 percent are not at all concerned about employers tracking personal apps installed on their devices