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You probably measure absenteeism but what about presenteeism?



It’s easy to measure absenteeism as you can easily count the people who aren’t at their desks but what about presenteeism?

You may or may not have heard this word before but presenteeism means reduced productivity when employees come to work and are not fully engaged or perform at lower levels as a result of ill health.

Every one of us can’t give 100% concentration 100% of the time & it’s ok to have off moments or spend time daydreaming (isn’t that when the best ideas happen!?!) But having an employee who constantly seems distracted is not good for business or who is coming to work ill for fear of getting a black mark against them name for being off sick.

The challenge is to get the balance just right between absenteeism (the cost of covering the role & sick pay) & presenteeism (staff present when sick, low productivity)! A culture where people are too scared to be off sick when they are ill will not help your organisation succeed.

Absenteeism costs the UK economy £8.4billion but wait for it, this figure is nearly double for presenteeism at £15.1billion!!

Health problems in their early stages often manifest themselves mainly in the form of increased presenteeism, which may act as a strong predictor of future sickness absence.

More presenteeism today means more absenteeism tomorrow.

Increased absenteeism is often a clear warning sign that something isn’t quite right with either the employee or the organisation.

Presenteeism can be easily recognised:

  • More breaks are being taken
  • Breaks become longer
  • Productivity goes down
  • Little or no contribution in meetings
  • Lack of interest in conversations

Ill health is not confined to just physical symptoms but mental health issues too, it is estimated that 1 in 6 adults will stuff some form of mental health problems within their lifetime.

But the good news is that with The Wheel of Wellbeing, Culture & performance can help you identify where you can improve. And help you address the areas to work on. Each of the sectors overlap each other to achieve optimum wellbeing, culture & performance in your business.

Wheel of wellbeing, culture and performance No branding


It’s been shown that when employers take an interest in an employee’s wellbeing, their productivity increases and loyalty to the company also improves. This can only be good for business. For every £1 invested in employee wellbeing will give a return of £3 in terms of increased productivity, reduced absenteeism & a strengthen company culture.

Having engaged motivated and well staff is a goal many organisations strive for.

Here are few things to think about:

  • Are there regular patterns to staff sickness?
  • What are we doing to ensure our staff’s wellbeing is looked after?
  • Is the environment we work in helping or hindering absenteeism/presenteeism?
  • Is the culture of the business a positive, supportive culture?
  • Are we able to pick up signs of stress within our employees? (the next blog post will be looking at stress in the workplace)
  • Do staff enjoy coming to work?
  • Do we know how productive my employees are?
  • What can we do to help staff who are struggling?

Next time I will be talking about stress and why it’s important to recognise the signs, the long term impact it has on our health and how we can manage it in an effective way.

If you would like to know more about how I can help improve wellbeing, culture & performance in your organisation, then get in touch.

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