Employee Presenteeism: Stay Home When You’re Sick

EditorEmployee Benefits, Risk Management

Employee Presenteeism: Stay Home When You're Sick

You wake up with a raging headache and awful cold. What do you do? Grab some tissues, stock up on Dayquil, and get to work- you have a huge project do that you just can’t miss. But now research is indicating this bull-headed, dedicated approach might not be best, for you or the company.

Presenteeism is when an employee goes to work despite a medical illness that could prevent them from fully functioning at work. According to the Telegraph, nearly a third of employers have reported a rise in “presenteeism” in the past year. The average level of absences has also fallen from 7.7 days to 6.8 per employee per year. That’s good for productivity, right? Not quite.

A worker who comes in even when they are sick will take longer to recover than if they stayed home for a day. A cold could go on for weeks. If a worker takes sick leave, they would recover and return to full productivity more quickly than if they continued to trudge through their workload.

The costs of its sister problem, absenteeism, is clear. You need your workers to physically be at work to maintain productivity. But coming to work when you’re sick also presents a risk to coworkers. A sick coworker could spread the illness around the office, reducing your workforce’s productivity rather than one individual coworker.

The reasons for presenteeism are sound. You’re sacrificing your own well-being because you have responsibilities, to your clients, your job, your coworkers. You have a project you have to finish, a schedule full of meetings, or an unavoidable deadline to meet. But, in the end it could end up doing your more harm than good.

Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, founded in 1971, is one of the largest independent insurance agencies in Connecticut and one of the largest nationwide. Our comprehensive, consultative approach to risk is part of everything we do – whether it’s implementing Connecticut Financial Management or Connecticut employee benefits for companies, or providing coverages to families and individuals. Contact us today for more information. (877) 602-2305

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine