How does wellbeing link into presenteeism and absenteeism?

The areas of absenteeism vs presenteeism have been studied extensively in the health and safety literature; companies are starting to wake up to the impact that these negative situations can have on the organisation, at both the employee and corporate level.

Presenteeism refers to a situation where individual come to work in situations where they shouldn’t, whilst absenteeism is used to describe a situation where an employer should be in the workplace but isn’t.

You may be wondering what the impact of absenteeism vs presenteeism can be for your business, and why you should pay attention to it. In today’s article, we have a look at the two sides of this dangerous coin, and how wellbeing can link into dealing with it in your business.

  • Presenteeism can be very detrimental to employee well-being

When individuals enter the workplace when they shouldn’t, this can cause damage to their wellbeing in several ways. It can cause unnecessary stress if the worker is experiencing psychological issues, but it can also prolong illnesses if the worker is feeling under the weather.

This prolonged damage can spiral if not kept in check. Contagious illnesses can spread throughout the workplace and any psychological damage can be detrimental to workplace performance in the long run.

Having a workplace culture that encourages workers to be open when they are struggling and need time off is good for both productivity in the long-run and wellbeing in the short.

  • Absenteeism can often be a symptom of poor well-being practices

Absenteeism is often not without cause, and workplaces that do not look after staff with proper well-being practices tend to experience higher absenteeism than ones that don’t.

Whilst for many managers this is seen as a more pressing issue for the company when compared to presenteeism, both can be equally as damaging in the short and long run.

If workers feel the need to be absent from work, it may be caused by disenfranchisement with the work in question or the general culture surrounding work in the environment. Whatever the cause, you should keep staff involved in the decision-making process to make sure any solutions are suitable for all involved.

  • Presenteeism and absenteeism are bad for productivity and health  

Presenteeism and absenteeism both present serious challenges for health and safety in your organisation. Getting on top of both will help you develop a workplace that safeguards the health and well-being of workers whilst also delivering on business objectives. The positive correlations between well-being and good work are well understood and can help workers achieve happier healthier lives.

How can I make sure I manage employee well-being well in the workplace?

It can often be difficult to spot the symptoms of both absenteeism and presenteeism, however, the damage it can do to individuals and businesses is worrying. If you want to deal with its root cause, you need a holistic approach with good health and well-being policies in addition to a good process around how you manage safety in the workplace. These are essential whether you are working in a factory, office, and everything in between.