Have you noticed that your managers often receive text messages from employees stating they are out sick? Although texting has become a fairly standard practice among smart phone users, it begs the question of whether texting is an appropriate form of communication between employees and employers. Whether you have a firm policy in place or not, it’s important to consider whether requiring a phone call is something that your company prefers over other forms of communication.
Research presented in this article by BenefitsCanada suggests that only about 30% of medium-to-small sized businesses find text messaging an acceptable way to communicate with an employer. While text messaging certainly has its place for fast and efficient communication, when it comes to an employee requesting time off due to illness or personal events, an employer may find a level of accountability lacking. However, texting can also provide a level of security because an employee knows they can report to a manager without feeling the pressure of a phone call conversation. Depending upon the size of your business, you may wish to develop an absentee plan that allows or prohibits the use of texting as a method of communication regarding absences.
At BlueRock Corporate Benefits, we believe that regardless of whether you allow texting as a method of communication within your office, it’s important to have documentation stating your expectations for your employees. Whether you prefer a phone call or require an employee to report a specific way, especially if they are going to incur multiple days out of work, having a firm plan of action will help you address any concerns that arise.