For obvious reasons, there has been a recent shift in attitude towards sick leave within the workplace. Now, a minor cold that would have had a staff member working right through it pre-2020, could be a cause for seven days worth of isolation, and working from home if and when possible.

However, for many businesses working from home is not a viable option- and even if it is, symptoms can become severe enough to put an entire team out of commission for weeks. This puts enormous strain on not only the individual team members left to cover the workload, but on your business as a whole.


Investopedia states; “Presenteeism refers to the lost productivity that occurs when employees are not fully functioning in the workplace because of an illness, injury, or other condition.” Although not as visible as continued absenteeism, research in 2014 shows that absenteeism accounts for approximately $6 billion in lost productivity in Australia each year. Presenteeism, on the other hand, is estimated to cost businesses over $25 billion dollars over a year. The data is clear. Not only do employees waste valuable resources when working at a diminished capacity, a lot of the time they risk passing on the reason for the presenteeism in the first place. 

There is not a ‘fix all’ cure for staff shortages and presenteeism in the current global climate. There are, however, several ways to reduce the strain on your staff whilst not compromising on providing the best experience possible for your customer.

Crafting the Customer Experience

Crafting the customer service experience takes a lot of thought and planning. From training staff, to your tech stack and choice of channel, to understanding and anticipating your audience’s needs. Most companies- especially now, conduct much of their customer service over the phone. Zendesk’s 2020 Customer Experience Trends report finds that 66% of customers prefer phone-based service over other rising platforms, such as a live chat, or texting. This presents an opportunity to engage with customers in an innovative way.

Auto-Attendant is a phone-based feature that can function as an extra employee in times of scarcity, or as an all-round introduction to your business. As the first message a customer will hear when they call your business, the auto-attendant can perform as a simple welcome message, or function to help guide the caller’s inquiry to your business’s desired department or employee. This way, you can ensure that your customer gets the best help possible by the most qualified person- in the most efficient way.

Alternatively, should each customer require more personalised service, Captivate Connect have developed the function to offer a ‘call back’ service, should wait times exceed a specified duration. This call back feature removes all agitation held by a customer forced to wait on hold, listening to the same track over, and over again.

Staff shortages can seem overwhelming. Put safeguards in place early to keep processes running smoothly and your customers happy to avoid the pressure! The Captivate Connect on hold solutions are an affordable way to keep your customers engaged, informed and loyal to your brand. Show them you care.