The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Monday, 18 November

Hi Ho, Hi Ho - It's Off To Home You Go - Send Sneezy Packing

Presenteeism

Over 8 in 10 employees admit observing presenteeism in the workplace according to a Chartered Institute of Professional Development survey, when those that are ill should be encouraged to stay home and recuperate.

The number of lost working days due to absence has fallen to a record low number according to recent figures by ONS who had revealed UK workers have taken an average number of just 4.1 sick days in 2017, compared with 7.2 days in 1993.

The CIPD survey (conducted earlier this year) shows people who are coming into work when they are ill also known as ‘presenteeism’ has more than tripled since 2010, with 86% of employees admitting they had observed presenteeism in the workplace.

Research by the Centre of Mental Health shows presenteeism from mental health alone is estimated to cost the UK economy £15.1 billion per annum, compared to £8.4 billion per annum for absenteeism.

Following the findings, Ciara Morrison, Head of HR and Talent at Instant Offices has provided an insight into why more employees are committing presenteeism year on year.

 

Job security and labour policies are factors

The phenomenon itself is not new. Nonetheless, it has recently become the subject of interest in studies. According to Dr. Cary Cooper of Manchester University, who first used the term, it results from job insecurity brought on by the downsizing and restructuring in the 1990s. When employees believe they are at risk of losing their jobs, they feel an urgency to put in more hours, or at least appear to be working longer.

 

The cost of presenteeism

The Centre for Mental Health has stated that presenteeism from mental ill health alone costs the UK economy £15.1 billion per annum. They argue that the consensus reached in research is that the cost of presenteeism is larger than that of sickness absence. 

In the early stages mental illness, health problems often manifest themselves predominantly in the form of increased presenteeism. This then acts as a strong predictor of future sickness absence. The more presenteeism today will result in more absenteeism tomorrow. This form of loss in productivity is more likely to occur among white-collar workers, particularly professional and executive staff, rather than blue-collar workers.

Naturally, with more interest in the phenomenon by researchers, there are a range of solutions that have been suggested to overcome presenteeism. The best way to address presenteeism is to implement an effective health management strategy that engages employees and supports them in improving their well-being.

 

Management should go the extra mile

Management policy affects work culture, so it should be used to affect presenteeism. Policies that are put in place to address abuse of sick days can unknowingly encourage presenteeism. So, organisations need to make it clear where they stand on the matter. This can be accomplished by insisting on sending people home to fully recuperate or encouraging flexible work solutions in times of illness or personal trauma.

Picture: Don't come in you walking epidemic -  just one way to discourage presenteeism.

To find Instant Offices - Click Here

Article written by Ciara Morrison

Share



Related Articles

Guidance To Help Tackle One-Sided Flexibility

Hot on the heels of a new government consultation to improve the rights of variable hours workers, the CIPD has launched employer guidance to help ensure such atypical...

 Read Full Article
Facing Up To Biometric Challenge

Innovise Software and FaceID Biometrics have joined forces to add face recognition technology to Innovise’s biometric portfolio. Face recognition technology...

 Read Full Article
Five-Fold Increase in Flexible Working Since 1999

The number of people working flexible hours has increased five-fold in the last two decades according to an analysis of working trends by the Association of...

 Read Full Article
Apprenticeship Levy Failure Sees Apprenticeships Decline

The Apprenticeship Levy has failed to increase investment in workplace training and needs urgent reform, the Chartered Institute of Professional Development has...

 Read Full Article
Don't Get Hot, Get Smart

During the heatwave, smart sensors are the secret weapon for maintaining staff productivity, writes Jeff Alden, Director of Operations at SPIE UK. Britain’s...

 Read Full Article
Collaborate or Hibernate? Creating A Workspace For Extroverts & Introverts

Jackie Furey explains how to create a workplace that caters for all personality types including the introverts and extroverts that might otherwise clash. The...

 Read Full Article
Employment Tribunal Fee Refunds Leads To System Being Overrun?

The opening stage of the Employment Tribunal fee refund scheme has been launched with the first people eligible to apply from now. The first stage of the phased...

 Read Full Article
How To Tackle The High Costs Of Wasted Workspace

The spiralling cost of wasted time in meetings is a hot topic according to industry expert Luis De Souza of international software business NFS Technology Group. He...

 Read Full Article
Housekeepers Help Handle The Cost Pressures

The currently challenging economic climate has resulted in many companies reviewing their operations to see where savings can be made. It requires a commonsense approach...

 Read Full Article
Measuring the Cost of Stress in the Workplace

Pressure is part and parcel of most work environments and to an extent, our modern way of life. At an appropriate level, pressure can help us to maintain our motivation...

 Read Full Article