presenteeism: causes and presentive meaures

Presenteeism: causes and preventive measures

2 months ago

What is presenteeism?

In this competitive world organizations just focus on minimal absenteeism which has given rise to presenteeism. Presenteeism is becoming a well-known term in workplace culture. Presenteeism defines the condition when employees go to work being sick, physically injured or mentally unwell. This is indicated by workers who may seem to present at their workplace but are not working up to their usual level of productivity due to being physically or mentally unfit.

Symptoms of presenteeism include:

  • When employees are ill and they come to work
  • When they work for longer hours than their contracted hours
  • A high performing employee producing low standard work
  • Looking exhausted and tired
  • Signs that employees are distress, injured or sick
  • Leaving early or arriving late at the workplace

Causes of presenteeism

1.Dual earner: In dual-earning families where both spouses work, people go to work when they are ill to save their leaves so that they can stay at home when their children are ill or to take care of their old parents.

2. Financial factors: Sometimes employees don’t use up their paid sick leaves before the end of the year or, they save their sick leaves for a more “serious” illness. For these employees, taking extra time out of the office to recover from physical or mental illness comes with a financial effect. To avoid loss of pay, employees come to work even when they are ill.

3. Heavy workload: Sometimes employees work while they are ill due to heavy workload. They fear that taking leave may lead to missed deadlines, heaps of work and additional job duties.

4. Fear of consequences:  Many workers fear that by taking the sick time they are less committed to their jobs than other employees. By missing work, some people are concerned about the lack of advancement or losing their jobs.

5. Boredom: Employees who don’t find their work interesting and engaging tend to be less productive at work and will spend more time surfing on the internet or browsing on phones.

How to prevent presenteeism

1.Discuss with employees

Create an organizational environment where employees feel comfortable discussing the problem with their managers. Managers should also talk to their employees if they spot signs like coming office late, underperforming and spending much time on the phone during working hours. Raise awareness about common mental and physical health problems to provide people with a better understanding of workplace wellbeing.

2. Increase focus on wellness

Managers should encourage their employers to engage in some physical exercises that will help make them more productive. Nowadays companies are giving fitness allowance, health insurance, and gym memberships to encourage employees to think about their health and well-being.

3. Encourage employees to stay home while sick

Build an organizational culture where employees must not feel that when they are sick it is necessary to come to work, encourage employees to stay home when they are unwell.

4. Allowing working remotely in isolated cases

If employees are unwell or have some personal work, then allow them to work remotely or offer them flexible working hours like this their indirect problems can be minimized.

5. Rather than monitoring hours worked monitor performance based on a deliverable

Many employees feel that if they work for long hours, employers will appreciate it, such thoughts are contributing to presenteeism. Build an organizational culture that rewards employees for their work delivery rather than the number of hours spent.

Presenteeism is a matter of concern in today’s working environment. To reduce presenteeism in your workplace, increase productivity levels, it will be beneficial for an organization in the end. That is why it is important to recognize the symptoms and take preventive measures of presenteeism to ensure that it is not a problem in your company.

Shruti Jain

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