Written by Albert Osbahr, MD.
Asking Employees to Work While Under the Weather Can Cost Your Company
Every year, employees miss work because of mental or physical health conditions, costing employers around the world billions of dollars. Businesses also deal with absenteeism, which is when employees call in sick without a good reason. But according to research, presenteeism—showing up for work when ill or distracted—can also financially impact businesses.
What is Presenteeism?
Presenteeism occurs when an employee goes to work while ill, fatigued, or distracted by a family member’s illness, lack of childcare, or a serious life event, which can lead to a drop in their job performance or productivity.
Presenteeism can be related to conditions like depression, fatigue, arthritis, asthma, allergies, migraines and headaches, anxiety, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), to name a few. Though these illnesses incur far lower direct healthcare costs than, for example, heart disease or cancer, they may cause more significant losses in productivity if they are left untreated. These conditions also tend to affect people during their peak working years.
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