Research Shows More Google Searches for Excuses to Miss Work in 2021, 2022 Than Years Prior

Research Shows More Google Searches for Excuses to Miss Work in 2021, 2022 Than Years Prior

Creating a workplace where all employees are supported is more important than ever before.

Supporting employees in every way has always been important for a healthy workplace. But the conversation on this topic has increased in the past few years, in light of COVID-19, the “Great Resignation” and remote work.

Though some employers are making changes, there’s still much work to be done. New research from Frank Recruitment Group shows that in the last few years, the number of people Googling excuses to miss work has drastically increased.

In 2018, only 305,590 searches were made by those looking to miss a day of work. In 2019, the number fell a little to 241,400 and even lower in 2020 to 112,400. But in 2021, the number of searches increased more than tenfold. In total, 1,864,180 searches were made that year. In 2022, that number hit 2,230,240.

“Calling in sick” and “excuse to miss work” were the most common search terms in 2022, totaling 385,780 and 304,910, respectively. Other search terms the research included data for are “best excuses for missing work,” “believable excuses for missing work” and “good excuses to miss work.”

Rowan O’Grady, President of Americas, Frank Recruitment Group, said in an email, "People looking to miss work in such substantial numbers indicates that ‘going back to normal’ isn’t possible in the way many businesses and employers may have assumed. The continuing impact of the pandemic has been a profound experience.”

O’Grady also offered advice on what employers can do for their employees: “In conjunction with workplace difficulties like burnout, it’s prompted many workers to re-examine their relationships with their jobs. To move towards healthy workplaces that don’t lead to these kinds of Google searches, employers should consider how they can better support their employees with measures like manageable workloads and clear career tracks, as well as benefits like flexible working. Co-design may be the best approach here, as involving employees in these conversations generally leads to greater investment in the outcomes."

In October, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy published a framework on supporting the mental health and well-being of employees. It included “five essentials” for employers: Protection from Harm, Connection and Community, Work-Life Harmony, Mattering at Work and Opportunity for Growth.

Looking for other ways to support your employees? Read our articles Mental Health in the Workforce: How to Support your Employees and Understanding the Stressors Behind Workplace Burnout, or listen to our podcast on How to Support Employee Mental Health & Wellness.

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