Your classic “entitled millennial” post. Older generations are actually laughing in my face as they read this I’m sure. I’ve been searching Google for someone who agrees with me on this and have come up short. Obviously we’re talking about office type jobs here. I can absolutely see how attendance is important in a customer service job. Maybe nobody else feels this way, or maybe people are just afraid to outwardly speak about it. My point is that it needs to be said – attendance, in this day in age, is a stupid concept. Here’s why. Attendance

Technology has the potential to allow anyone to work anywhere, anytime.

All anyone needs is an Internet connection in order to connect globally. If I can start this brand and connect with someone in Hong Kong, what makes you think your employees or students can’t stay connected with their laptop an hour away? Your company uses special software, you say? Cool! You pay for that software to be downloaded onto your in-office computers. Why not pay for your employees to download it on their home computers instead?

Do you need to get in contact with an employee about an urgent project? Oh my god, let me tell you about a few groundbreaking concepts: Email. Phones. Or if you don’t want to completely give up your old school ways, there’s also morse code! So many methods of communication without actually having to be in-person!

You might be asking why I’m so bitter towards attendance – like Daynna, all you have to do is show up, it’s not that hard! You’re absolutely right. Allow me to explain myself.

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“Just showing up” is a lot harder for some people than you might think.

People think that because we have designated mental health awareness days like Bell Let’s Talk and that there are a few shows dedicated towards mental health awareness (see myΒ review of 13 Reasons WhyΒ if you haven’t already) that we’re such a progressive society. We must have fixed every problem for those suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, and every other mental illness out there, right? Not exactly.

While awareness programs are absolutely a step in the right direction, there’s so much more to be done. Have you ever heard the saying “walk the walk instead of talk the talk”? While it’s great to talk about it, we need to actually be doing something about it. In my own experience living with three anxiety disorders, my biggest struggles with inaccessibility have been found in the workplace. There’s too much weight placed on attendance and not enough weight placed on high quality work by comparison.

I’ve never had really strong attendance, even as a kid. It wasn’t because I was a hooligan – I got pretty much straight As all the way through school. But I missed a lot of classes. As a child, I frequently faked sick because I was scared of going to school and being around other kids. I frequently skipped classes in university because of anxiety. Did I still get fantastic grades? Yes I did. I was fine until being thrown into the workforce where for the past year of my life I’ve frequently been in trouble for poor attendance related to health and mental health concerns.

Attendance
Source: unsplash.com

I have a strong work ethic, yet it’s overshadowed by my less than ideal attendance record.

I’m pretty sure if I called workers compensation about this it would be considered discrimination. I was actually told I wouldn’t be hired back in my student position specifically because I missed four days out of the entire summer at my summer job. Do you want to know why I missed those days? Migraines. That’s right, a real, diagnosable illness that I missed like four days of work out of the entire summer for was the only reason they decided not to hire me back.

Even though I worked faster and harder than I was originally anticipated to upon hiring. Even though I stayed four extra days at the end of my contract to make those hours up. Despite the fact I went out of my way every single day that I was there to go above and beyond in my menial job duties and took on extra responsibilities. Missing four days out of three months is all they cared about.

My point is that even if my attendance isn’t perfect, why should my ability to perform the job at an exceptional level be out-shadowed by that? Does it seem right to you that someone who goes to work everyday but gets nothing done is superior to someone who doesn’t go in everyday but does more work than expected from home or when they are there?

The takeaway…

The real world and its attendance policies are shit. If there’s anything that makes me not want to work for a company, it’s a strict attendance policy. The bottom line is that if you can’t inspire your employees to work in a more accessible way, your company is probably shit and no one is actually going to want to work for you. It shows lack of creativity and innovation in my opinion. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. Either way, it is some food for thought, especially for companies looking to make their workplace a more positive space.Β Access the free resource library - A Daynna Life

What are your thoughts on attendance policies? Love them? Hate them? Tell me in the comments below. I’m prepared for the debate to get a bit heated, but please be respectful to fellow readers, myself, and yourself – don’t be THAT guy. Disagreeing is okay – going out of your way to be disrespectful is not, keep that in mind and know that regardless of whether our opinions differ or agree I still think you’re great. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for reading!

Also, I’ve decided that because the idea of “entitled millennials” is such a big controversy and because my other series “Quarter Life Crisis Confessions” has gone over so well that I’ve decided to add a second series, “The Entitled Millennial Monologues”. This is the first of that series – let me know what you think and what you’d like to see next for the series!

32 Comments on Attendance is an Outdated Concept that Needs to be Abolished by Society: The Entitled Millennial Monologues

  1. People really underestimate the benefits of allowing employees to work from wherever. As someone who hates being bothered in the middle of tasks and who hates being social when I’m working, going into an office–an open concept as well, at my current place–the workplace drives me nuts some days. Luckily, I’ve been vocal about needing time to write content away from the office setting. I much prefer my desk and home setup. It makes me feel much more relaxed and able to work.

    (This is also a topic I’ve been meaning to write about, hence the mini rant. But I love this post!)

    • I completely relate to that! There are so many people who would benefit from being able to work from home too, that’s the crazy thing! Their work would probably be much higher quality if they were comfortable in their work setting. Open concept is the biggest nightmare on earth to a lot of introverts! Good for you for speaking up about what you need in order to succeed in your position. Thanks for sharing, Vanessa! πŸ™‚

    • Absolutely, and I think it’s great to have the option of both on location and online in order to allow people to succeed in whatever way works for them. Thanks for sharing, Kait! πŸ™‚

  2. I’m so shocked that you couldn’t find anyone who agreed with you because this post is SO RIGHT. I have health issues that make it difficult for me to leave my house but that doesn’t mean I can’t do a kickass job at home. Companies need to understand that working from home is so common and so much more realistic for a ton of people.

  3. This is SOOO TRUE! I’ve worked for a couple of companies that really stunted their own growth based on this outdated concept. I have two an online boutique and a blog that I’ve been running for over 7 years from a laptop all over the US and Europe and I have NEVER interacted with a single one of my customers in person, yet it grows every day! xoRach || http://www.rkcsouthern.com

    • Love that! Thank you for sharing your success story, Rachel! It’s so true, I just wish there was at least the option to work from home (especially for those who work in an office environment) or at the very least people not getting in trouble for being away for health related reasons. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

  4. I totally get this! With the way the world is now, we can work anywhere and anytime. The more businesses see this, the more they will thrive. Millennials want their job to be apart of their lifestyle, not get in the way of it.

    • Absolutely! I love the point you made about millennials wanting their job to be part of their lifestyle and not get in the way of it. I can totally relate to that! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Brittney. πŸ™‚

    • I can definitely understand that! I think I may have failed to make it clear in the article, but of course any job where you’re dealing with the public understandably has a lot more weight placed on attendance. When it comes to teaching that’s definitely one of those positions you can’t really afford to be absent a lot. Thanks so much for sharing your point-of-view, Nicholle! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks girl! I totally agree. It’s great hearing from so many people that they actually have opportunity to work remotely at their jobs. Hopefully this means that companies are starting to change the way they employ people! πŸ™‚

  5. I agree with you! Even though for me it doesn’t matter from where I’m working. This is very important and businesses have to think about this! Mental health is a big issue.

  6. I think it all depends on your definition of “attendance,” because I have a work from home contract at my job where I’m allowed to work from home on Fridays. Even though I’m not physically at the office, I’m still working and connected to my coworkers so I’m “there” virtually, if that makes sense? I also think it depends on the situation as well. I’ve had days where I was feeling quite anxious about going to school but my parents sat me down that faking sick and not showing up is also disrespectful to the teachers who may also not want to show up but do so anyway so they can help me learn. But if these kinds of environments don’t work for you, maybe homeschool or a work-from-home situation is best. Just my thoughts. This was a great post – really got me thinking!

    • Yes, absolutely! And that’s what I mean is that you can still attend virtually without actually being physically present. I’m glad to hear that some companies do allow for those types of contracts! I agree and disagree with it being disrespectful to not show up, and it might just be a difference in how we were taught as kids. I agree that it’s disrespectful to not show up to school if you just feel like you could be doing something more fun. I think it’s a different story when someone is physically ill with anxiety about showing up and in my own opinion I think teachers should be understanding and compassionate in those circumstances (obviously if it’s happening three days a week that’s a whole other issue). Those are just some of my thoughts! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Deborah! I’m glad my post was able to spark up a great discussion! πŸ™‚

  7. I’m self-employed so I’m a huge advocate for working from home. I can definitely see why some people would need extra time off as long as it doesn’t interfere with your work. I had a friend who seemed to take a day off each week for whatever reason and her employer wasn’t happy which is understanable.

    • Absolutely, I think it not interfering with your work is key. I think some people work better in an office while others (like myself) are far more productive working in their own space. To me it sounds like your friend may have had something going on in her life where she maybe could have benefited from having the opportunity to work from home one day a week even (depending on the nature of her job, of course). It doesn’t seem unreasonable to me if her actual type of work permits it that the employer work with her if that’s something she needs in order to be successful. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts Jenny! πŸ™‚

  8. Yes, yes, yes, yes and YES. Unless your job requires you to be where your business is, more fields should allow working from home/remotely. I collaborate with coworkers from all over the country for my job from my office, and I am more productive and happy at home. I actually work more than I would at an office – yes, I stop to do laundry or empty my dishwasher, but my distractions are far less than if I had coworkers and coffee shops and lunch trips. Are there others in my company who need an office? Definitely, and it’s available to them, but I love that if my boyfriend (whose job IS tied to a location) needs to move to a new city for a new job, I do not have to choose between living with him and my career.

    Just *being* somewhere does not mean you’re being productive or useful.

    I have so many things to say on this subject!

    • Omg girl, yes! I’m so glad you agree! I’ve always felt this way but I’ve been particularly heated about it the past few months – I just think that while the world changes our careers should have the option to change with it. I’m also someone who’s more productive at home or even in a cafe, mostly because I’m very introverted and find it incredibly draining and distracting to have people constantly around me. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I’m glad to hear that you have the option at your job to work either in an office or from home. That just makes it a more positive workspace for everyone. πŸ™‚

  9. Interesting perspective! I work in radio, and that’s a job that’s pretty hard to do at home or remotely (unless you invest thousands of dollars into building your own studio), so I’m not sure this applies too much to my industry. But I think you make some interesting points for careers that really can be done remotely!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  10. So many great points! It’s crazy that we’re in a time and place where we can work / be connected anywhere in the world through the touch of our fingers

  11. I’m a millenial and I definitely don’t agree! Some people work better than others from home or have circumstances that require them to be out of the office (health problems, for instance), but all of the jobs I have had required coordination and teamwork…something that can’t get completed with a simple email or through technology. If you have a job that doesn’t require that (and there are some that don’t), then I guess it doesn’t matter about attendance. Just my personal opinion from my work experience where if someone was gone it hurt the project. My two cents!

    • That’s absolutely true. I think also that it’s very dependant on the circumstances of the workplace (which I may not have made clear in the heat of feeling frustrated while writing this at 2am, lol). For instance, obviously for customer service type jobs attendance is kind of essential. Of course group projects are another point that was overlooked, but even then although it may be easier if everyone is present I do think there are ways around it if someone can’t be there. As someone who has mainly worked on more independent projects, I just would like to see more of an effort on the employers’ end to work with people who have legitimate reasons for not being able to physically be there but still need the job. Thank you so much for bringing this point up! πŸ™‚

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