Absenteeism V Presenteeism – what is worse?

“Absence makes your colleagues work harder”. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that the “average number of sickness absence days that UK workers take has almost halved since records began in 1993.  The figures show that employees took an average of 4.1 sickness absence days in 2017, compared with 7.2 days in 1993, but sickness absence started to fall overall from 1999.”    At first glance this is great news….isn’t it?

NOT when you compare this against the cost of presenteeism.   According to The Work Foundation presenteeism is costing the UK economy £30 billion every year.   http://www.theworkfoundation.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Health_and_work_infographics.pdf

Presenteeism is largely invisible and difficult to measure.   Employees coming into work despite being too ill to be productive.  Research reveals that there are many reasons as to why this is happening; high volume of work, stress, financial concerns, sense of guilt, and feeling obligated to come in.

Here are our practical top tips to tackling presenteeism?

  • Invest in training for both managers and employees so that there is greater understanding about well-being.
  • Encourage employees to recognize the signs of stress and any work-related physical health issues.
  • Promote health and well-being initiatives
  • Review existing policies and procedures to include flexible working
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