Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Decreased Productivity due to Presenteeism

Ergoweb 16 May 2012

A study involving Sweedish employees has found that presenteeism (attending work when ill) was associated with the psychosocial risk factors of work demands, work control, social climate, employee commitment to the organization, and role compatibility.  When these issues were addressed, the odds of future presenteeism were reduced for all risk factors except work demands.

Whilst the impacts of absenteeism are quite well understood, this is not the case for presenteeism.  In this study particpants were asked “How many times the past 12 months have you been at work even though you according to your health state should have stayed at home?” At the time of the first evaluation, 45.4% reported as performing presenteeism two or more days over the prior year while at the second evaluation, this changed to 44.8% - not statistically significant.

In presenting background information, the authors note that studies have found:
  1. An average of $2.30 productivity loss occurs for every $1.00 spent on medical and pharmacy costs
  2. Presenteeism costs an estimated $255 per employee per year among US companies
  3. For some specific disorders, financial losses due to presenteeism far exceed those due to absenteeism
  4. Higher levels of presenteeism are related to high stress, lack of emotional fulfillment, physical inactivity, unhealthy body mass index, and poor diet
  5. Higher levels of absenteeism are associated with physical inactivity, high stress, and diabetes/high blood glucose
  6. Employees who perceived their jobs to be more stressful than satisfying had greater levels of presenteeism, poor health, greater levels of depression, and riskier lifestyle behavior.

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