About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Presenteeism Problem

In the corporate wellness field, we spend a lot of time trying to keep employees healthy. But what to do when they’re sick…
According to our friends over at HR Benefits Alert, the practice of “presenteeism”—employees showing up to work sneezing, coughing or otherwise not feeling well—has become a major issue in the workplace.
Not only are these folks unproductive, but they also put co-workers at risk—all of which ends up costing a lot more than just taking a day off.

The blog cites a recent workplace wellness survey by LifeCare, which found that 93 percent of employees admit that they come to work when they’re sick enough to stay home. Reasons include:
  • fear of letting other people down; worrying that taking time off is too risky, in terms of office politics or culture
  • and saving up sick days for child or eldercare emergencies or extra vacation.
Given all of this, I think it makes sense to address the issue of “presenteeism” in your corporate wellness program, in some way. Education is a great start—you just can’t say “stay home if you’re sick” frequently enough! We've done some work with "no-fault absence" policies. Give us a call if you'd like to know more.

No comments: