The Dangers of Employee Presenteeism

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Employees working for your company are crucial to your company’s success. However, they might cause more harm than good from time to time. This happens when an employee rushes to work but is not productive.

Presenteeism is when employees go to work  knowing they can’t function well . Sounds harmless enough, but presenteeism can severely impact businesses in terms of productivity and costs. In fact, according to a study by the American Productivity Audit, presenteeism costs U.S. businesses more than $150 billion each year in lost productivity. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s look at other ways that presenteeism can hurt your business.

The Productivity Killer

Employees who come into work sick are not operating at 100%. This means they’re not going to be as productive as they would be if they were healthy. Studies have shown that sick employees are productive for less than half the day when they come to work. Not only does this mean that you’re not getting as much out of your employees as you could be, but it also means that their sickness is likely to rub off on their healthy co-workers, further reducing productivity levels across the board.

The Costly Consequences of Presenteeism

In addition to being a productivity killer, presenteeism tends to be quite costly for businesses. First, there’s the cost of lost productivity, which we already covered. But there are indirect costs associated with presenteeism, such as increased healthcare costs and workers’ compensation claims. For example, according to a study by Harvard Business Review, workers who come into the office sick are three times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim than those who stay home when they’re sick. Presenteeism happens for many reasons, but there are five known reasons why they happen:

Oral Problems

Many employers tend to ignore their employee’s oral health, but little do they know it affects their company more than anything else. Studies have found that oral problems are the  leading cause of presenteeism and absenteeism . This is because oral health problems can cause discomfort and pain, leading to decreased productivity and even missed work days.

One way to deal with this is by offering dental benefits. You should allow your employees to visit the  local dentist  twice a year. You should also consider paying for any necessary treatments to improve their oral health and overall well-being.

Poor Work-Life Balance

Many employees feel pressured to always be “on call,” even when they’re not at work. This leads to constantly checking emails, taking calls, and working outside regular hours. This can lead to burnout, causing them to come to work sick or feel exhausted.

To combat this, encourage your employees to take their vacation days and encourage them to disconnect from work during non-working hours. Also, ensure you’re not giving them unrealistic workloads that lead to burnout.

Employee struggling at work

Lack of Flexibility

Some employees might need to come to work even when they’re sick because they cannot work from home or take a sick day. Offer flexible options for your employees, such as allowing them to telecommute on occasion or having an open sick day policy where they can take time off they need without feeling guilty about it.

Stigma Around Taking Time Off

There can often be a stigma around taking time off, with some employees feeling like they need to constantly prove their worth or fear of being seen as replaceable. This can lead them to come to work even when they’re sick.

Combat this by creating a culture where taking time off is encouraged and not frowned upon. Recognize and reward employees for good work rather than punishing them for taking time off to care for themselves.

Poor Health

Employees with poor health habits, such as a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet, are more likely to get sick and come to work anyway.

Encourage healthy habits among your employees by offering wellness programs, providing healthy food options in the office, and promoting physical activity during the workday. You should also be aware of the mental state of your employees. Mental health plays a significant role in overall health and can lead to presenteeism if not correctly addressed.

Overall, employers must recognize the effects of presenteeism and take steps to address it. Not only will it improve productivity levels, but it can also save your company money in the long run. In addition, encourage your employees to prioritize their health and well-being inside and outside work. Your company can benefit from happier and healthier employees by doing these things.

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