presenteeism workplace wellness

Presenteeism Creates Negative Workplace Impact

Well-run workplace wellness programs are designed to help reduce two significant business costs: Presenteeism and Abstenteeism. Is one worse than the other?

We reported recently on a study designed to look at the issue of presenteeism and determine ways to address this improtant workplace issue. The study is titled “Healthy and productive workers: using intervention mapping to design a workplace health promotion and wellness program to improve presenteeism,” and it’s published in BMC Public Health.

As the study states: “Presenteeism is a growing problem in developed countries mostly due to an aging workforce. The economic costs related to presenteeism exceed those of absenteeism and employer health costs. Employers are implementing workplace health promotion and wellness programs to improve health among workers and reduce presenteeism.” The study sought to “use an intervention mapping approach to develop a workplace health promotion and wellness program aimed at reducing presenteeism.”

Now, a new report states that “Presenteeism can have as negative an impact on the workplace as absenteeism.”

The Workplace Insights post states: “Employees coming into work when sick are contributing to a rising trend of ‘presenteeism’ across the UK, with more than half (52 percent) of UK workers admitting to going to work when their performance is negatively affected by work-related health issues, a new survey claims.”

It continues: “A third (34 percent) of workers have even considered moving jobs due to the negative impact of their work environment on their health – the highest percentage across Europe. The report from Fellowes, published to coincide with World Day for Safety and Health at Work, argues when a worker is present but not able to perform their function properly, it compromises their productivity. With most employees continuing to work at sub-par levels rather than taking days off to recover, this also prolongs the effect of illness. Subsequently, businesses are experiencing a detrimental knock-on impact on the quality and volume of work produced, with a further impact on overall business performance.”

As for the cost implications, Louise Shipley, European Business Team Manager – Workspace Management at Fellowes said: “With European businesses already losing a staggering €73 billion annually due to absenteeism, employers simply can’t disregard the worsening problem of presenteeism taking effect.”