Flu epidemic: Almost a quarter of office workers have to cover for an absent colleague every week
OTRS study: The biggest challenge in covering for a co-worker is getting the necessary background information.
Cupertino, CA, February 5, 2019 – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu is on the rise across the nation causing between six to seven million cases so far during the 2018 – 2019 season. That’s a lot of missed workdays, and the CDC has previously reported that businesses in the United States lose $7 billion per year in lost productivity due to illness.
A study by the OTRS Group between 500 respondents in the US, Germany and Brazil supports this, showing that more than half of all employees (51 percent) have to cover for an out-of-work colleague several times per month. Almost a quarter (23 percent) even state that they have to represent an absent employee every week. In Brazil, over 34 percent say they have to replace a colleague every week, compared to 21 percent in Germany and only 14 percent in the USA.
For 37 percent of respondents, the greatest challenge in temporary representation is to find the necessary background information for completing a task. This is followed by understanding the task status (34 percent) and knowing who to contact in order to complete the task (25 percent).
The additional time required for representation is not insignificant either. 38 percent require at least one additional hour per day: 11 percent need more than two hours of additional work time. 33 percent say they need between half an hour and one hour extra every day when their colleague is not there.
“Getting sick cannot be planned. But what can be planned in advance are good coverage arrangements and transparent communication,” says André Mindermann, Co-Founder and CEO of OTRS AG. “In the digital age, a failure to respond can have major consequences and may even lead to lost customers. A cloud-based ticket system is the obvious solution. All inquiries, problems, communication processes and their current statuses are transparently stored here. This means that an agent does not have to log in to a foreign e-mail account to view the last action taken. In this way, companies can minimize the risks associated with significant absenteeism.”
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About OTRS Group
OTRS Group is the manufacturer and world’s largest service provider for the OTRS Service Management Suite, awarded the SERVIEW CERTIFIED TOOL seal of approval. It offers enterprises of all sizes flexible solutions for process and communication management, in order to save time and money. Its customers include Lufthansa, Airbus, IBM, Porsche, Siemens, Bayer Pharma AG, BSI (German Federal Office for Information Security), Max Planck Institute, Toyota, Huawei, Hapag Lloyd and Banco do Brazil (Bank of Brazil). More than 170,000 companies worldwide use OTRS, including over 40 percent of the DAX 30 companies. OTRS is available in 38 languages. The company consists of OTRS AG and its six subsidiaries OTRS Inc. (USA), OTRS S.A. de C.V. (Mexico), OTRS ASIA Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), OTRS Asia Ltd. (Hong Kong), OTRS Do Brasil Soluções Ltda. (Brazil) and OTRS Magyarország Kft. (Hungary). OTRS AG is listed on the Basic Board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Further information can be found at: www.otrs.com.
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