My company implemented a flexi-time policy last year.
Staff can take time off to take their children or parents to the doctor, or to run personal errands.
Unwell staff who are able to go to the office for a few hours do so to clear urgent tasks and hand over other assignments to colleagues. They would then go home to rest, without needing to visit a doctor to obtain medical leave.
The results were impressive: We saw at least an 80 per cent reduction in "casual medical leave" and urgent leave.
Morale among the staff was greatly boosted, as they now cover colleagues for shorter durations instead of struggling with limited manpower resources for a longer period. Cohesiveness and teamwork also improved, as colleagues work with one another to minimise the impact to the business.
There may be a few black sheep who abuse the company's goodwill, but this should not deter other companies from trusting their staff.
In the long run, the company not only retains talent, but also improves productivity and cuts costs.
Karen Janine Lee (Ms)