Present, But Not Really: 3 Effective Tactics to Deal with Presenteeism

Business team meeting

Absenteeism is an enemy of employee productivity. When someone misses work days on a frequent basis, that can mean that work is stalled or another employee bears the burden of additional workload. However, there’s also an equal evil on the flip side of the coin: presenteeism. When employees go to work despite being sick, it results in inefficient work, worsening health problems, not to mention a bad epidemic of coughs and colds spread to other employees. To avoid these problems, you should be able to deal with presenteeism as soon as you spot it. Here are the best ways of tackling it:

Assess the culture of your organization

A huge part of the reason people go to work even when they’re sick is that it has been the way things are ever since. Other employees do it. Managers and owners do the same. In some organizations, in fact, it’s commended as an act of loyal, committed service. Still again, as mentioned, presenteeism does more harm than good. It slows down productivity and affects other team members. Hence, rethink the culture influencing your employees’ perspective and morale. Consider reviewing your guidelines on sick days, what counts for staying home, and when it’s okay to go back to work. You should also be clear that sick leaves are paid as long as your employees satisfy the requirements for those leaves. Most organizations also adopt the open-door policy in which employees are free to discuss confidential health information with managers. You may want to consider that as well in your company culture.

Promote health and well-being

Man sleeping

Another way you can deal with presenteeism is by preventing it altogether. How? Keep your employees healthy. There are lots of reasons your office environment and work can be behind your employees’ poor health. For one, almost all the stuff in the office are hot spots for nasty bacteria that can cause illnesses. Some of these breeding grounds are the chairs, desks, keyboards, phones, door knobs, printers, elevator buttons, among others. Worse, illnesses can spread easily in an open office. The good thing about this is that cleaning schedules can address the problem. Get the help of cleaning specialists in Salt Lake City so that you can make sure that everything in your office is clean. Another way your office can be making your employees sick is the stress. For this reason, you should be able to dedicate spaces for relaxation and breaks. It’s also important to prioritize wellness programs to help employees deal with stress in a healthy manner.

Offer flexible work options

In other instances, people are just committed to their work that they get anxious about missing tasks. If this is the case in your employees, then choose to offer them flexible work instead. With advancements in technology today, people can still attend conference meetings or brainstorming sessions even remotely. Invest in video conferencing tools. Consider task management software as well, where employees can access important files even when they’re on their beds at home, tending to a cold. There are some platforms that allow communication with other team members. You might also want to consider that feature in your choice of software.

Absenteeism is bad for productivity, but so is presenteeism. Don’t let this bad practice permeate your company culture. Stop it in its tracks right away with these tips.