WHS Newsletter - Presenteeism in the Workplace
Many businesses recognise the importance of improving work health and safety to reduce injuries and disease. However, investing in work health and safety can generate a positive return on investment through productivity gains and other benefits that often accompany safety improvements.
The increasing demands of modern life have eroded our standards of health and wellbeing with competing stresses from both home and at work. The direct cost of poor health is reflected through workplace injury, illness, absenteeism and now presenteeism.
Just as people stay away from work for a variety of reasons, legitimate and otherwise; people also choose to come to work sick, distracted and/or disengaged for a whole new variety of reasons, such as economic, obligation to team, stress of not getting the job done, even exuberance for the job.
Presenteeism emerged as a business issue in the 1990's. It refers to the impact of an employee's physical and emotional health and well being and on-the-job performance.
Effects of presenteeism can be more harmful, costly and disruptive in the workplace than absenteeism. (KPMG Econtech research reveals 2009-10 the total cost of presenteeism was estimated at $34.1 billion to the Australian economy); and with recent studies indicating that up to 80% of the Australian workforce is disengaged; a disturbing picture begins to emerge!