One of the biggest threats to workplace productivity is presenteeism. According to the CIPD’s annual report only 35% of employees are currently heathy at their workstation. Employees that show up feeling unwell show reduced productivity levels which have a direct effect on the business.
A recent survey from Canada Life Insurance states that 90% of employees said they have turned up for work feeling unwell, up 1% on the previous year, which shows that presenteeism is still a large problem within the UK workforce. The UK has the longest working hours within the EU and second highest in the developed world, therefore increased spread of sickness throughout any company can have a damaging effect.
The main issue highlighted was the workload employees are under, with a quarter of staff saying they are unable to call in sick due to a large workload. Additionally almost 30% of staff stated financial reasons, stating they are unable to afford taking unplanned absence from work. Another issue was staff feeling guilty for calling in sick and being seen as lazy, weak or inconsiderate. This shows that employers are still not sharing the message that there is nothing wrong with taking time off if staff are genuinely ill.
The main issue with staff showing up to work feeling unwell is the risk of spreading illness throughout the workplace. Almost 75% of staff placed the blame on another staff member when they became ill themselves, and over 30% state they have suffered numerous times due to other members of staff.
As well as staff sickness, physical illness also didn’t stop people turning up for work, with just under 25% of staff stating they would only call in sick if they were hospitalized or had no other choice or way of getting into work. Only 20% of staff said they would call in sick if they were suffering from stress related illness, which highlights that a large number of employees are reluctant to take time off for mental illnesses.
e-days absence management helps HR staff and managers deal with managing sickness easily and lets them become proactive, rather than reactive if an employee calls in sick. Companies are able to track sickness, update staff sickness records and pre-populate online return to work form so employees and employers can be more productive within the workplace.