Factors affecting absenteeism in electrical construction

Awad S. Hanna, Cindy L. Menches, Kenneth Sullivan, Joseph R. Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Construction contractors continue to be faced with the challenge of improving productivity in order to remain successful in an increasingly competitive industry. One factor that contributes to lower productivity is absenteeism. Yet, little is known or understood about the reasons electricians miss work, and very few studies have been conducted on absenteeism in the construction industry. As a positive step to reduce the problems associated with voluntary and involuntary absences, a study was initiated to identify why workers miss work and what steps should be taken to minimize absenteeism. The main objectives of the study were to learn the reasons for absenteeism and to quantify the impacts so that solutions can be developed to help contractors improve their productivity. The study determined that managers and electricians agreed that illnesses and medical appointments were two common reasons workers missed work. However, managers also believed workers were absent because of a lack of interest or irresponsibility, while electricians reported injuries and unsafe working conditions as reasons for missing work. Furthermore, a quantitative analysis of the data revealed that when the absenteeism rate was between 0 and 5%, there was no loss in productivity. However, when the absenteeism rate was between 6 and 10%, a 24.4% loss in productivity was experienced. By understanding what causes electricians to miss work, and the effect of absences on productivity, a company can manage and control absenteeism on electrical construction projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1212-1218
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005


  • Construction industry
  • Contractors
  • Electrical systems
  • Labor
  • Productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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