Presenteeism, a function of employee wellbeing and employee engagement often exacerbated by stress, insecurity and disengagement has a multitude of definitions ranging from attending work while sick/unhealthy to the absence of motivation for the job. In all cases, the results are the same: tasks not completed within the allotted time, poor product/output quality to the failure to reach the desired level of professionalism needed for effective performance on the job.

Unless remedied immediately, presenteeism rapidly becomes a contagion adversely affecting staff psychologically and physically [1]. The former has a greater weight in importance such that psychologically engaged employees (demonstrating strong morale and high engagement quotient) sufficiently overcome reduction in their physical wellbeing to deliver directly/indirectly the required level of performance and quality. The worst case is where both psychological and physical wellbeing are low.

Recent research has identified that 75% of employees with good psychological wellbeing delivered productivity of 90%. Interestingly 38% of employees who described their health as ‘alright’ or ‘poor’ reported productivity of 90% or above. Most concerning fact that emerged was that over 56% of all staff exhibited presenteeism failing to achieve average productivity levels of 70% [3].

Presenteeism has multiple negative cascading effects that extend the time to realise any expected ROI of any internal facing investment. Although increasing the number of healthy employees by 20% and employee engagement by a 2% as has a direct bearing in delivering maximum productivity, the bottom line effect is an improvement of 0.5% to 1.1% of total revenue.

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Presenteeism Benefits
Presenteeism Financial Benefits

Potential Benefits from Reducing Presenteeism

[1]        ACAS
[2]        City Workers Union, 2013
[3]        Robert Cooper Survey, 2009

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