For shift workers, this is the high cost of missing a single day of work

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Almost 80% of U.S. employees live paycheck to paycheck, so the chunk of cash gone from missing a day’s work hurts. (As we learned during the government shutdown, missing weeks of paychecks will devastate).

If you’re in an hourly position, missing one shift can have crippling economic consequences, with a ripple effect lasting days or over a week. WorkJam, a digital workplace platform, examined the financial impact of missing a single shift of work by surveying 1,000 workers in five service industries – retail, hospitality, logistics, healthcare, and banking.

The smaller paycheck caused by missing a single shift of work meant that 49% of all respondents would have to make late payments on utilities and other necessities, 27% would not be able to pay their rent on time, and 25% would not be able to afford groceries for that week.

Missing a shift doesn’t necessarily happen from being sick, or having a child that is sick. It can often be caused by haphazard scheduling or types of miscommunication. For example, 55% of hospitality and 57% of retail employees depend on paper schedules, usually located in break rooms, to learn of their shifts. 31% of all employees reported difficulty switching work shifts with a coworker.

The chaos of hourly work simply leads to more churn – 71% of unhappy hourly workers are currently looking for new jobs, due to some of the very reasons that cause them to miss work to begin with: erratic schedules and unreachable managers.

“It’s never been more important for employers to make communication and scheduling a priority so that they aren’t putting their employees at risk of forgoing basic necessities,” said Steven Kramer, co-founder, president, and CEO of WorkJam, in a release.

“Miscommunication and scheduling inconsistencies deepen the disconnect between employers and their frontline employees. This drives down employee engagement, which can have a major impact on a company’s bottom line.”

Sheila McClear|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at smcclear@theladders.com.