Friday, December 23, 2011

Presenteeism and Workplace Well-being

Presenteeism — being at work when you shouldn't be, because although you are too tired or ill to be effective, you are too insecure about your job to stay away — is nearly as big a problem as absenteeism.

— Lisa O'Kelly, "Lonely life on the British treadmill," The Observer, July 31, 1994

What is presenteeism?

Some would argue that presenteeism can also be linked to compulsive overwork and workaholism, job security or rather job insecurity (concern about being replaced), and work devotion (organizational or company loyalty).

It may also be present in positions with heavy or increasing workloads and demands.

Whatever the cause, it affects both employee and organizational well-being and productivity.

Just as absenteeism has been a cause of concern for employers so too presenteeism is increasingly being recognized as an area requiring attention.

Wellness programs: What can they do?

Both public and private sector organizations should consider developing and implementing wellness programs for their employees which are aimed at increasing health and productivity, and reducing psychological distress and ill health.

Looking after your mental and physical health and achieving work-life balance can be difficult, and seemingly impossible at times.

However, it has been shown that initiatives which change the corporate work climate and culture have a strong impact on employee wellness. Changes in the work environment can range from improving management practices and the organization of work, creating social support networks, and facilitating more employee control and autonomy.

Results have shown that employees who take part in organizational wellness programs have increased job satisfaction and decreased presenteeism (and absenteeism). Wellness programs can also increase the overall productiveness of employees by creating a healthier workforce.

More and more it is becoming clear that presenteeism costs are a real and significant in any organization, and that presenteeism affects organizational well-being. If you have employees who are showing up for work when they are not fit (for whatever reason) then they are not performing at their best. And they are affecting the rest of your employees who often have to work even harder to as a result.

Wellness coaching: Do I need it?

At Y2CP, our life coaches help those who want to make their lives more satisfying and fulfilling and improve their overall level of happiness.

Wellness coaching is a form of life coaching that pairs a professional wellness coach (usually a psychologist) with a client who's motivated to change behaviours and/or situations — to partner with and support the client in reaching his/her chosen goals.

Our wellness coaching helps you to assess and explore:

  • your current level of well-being (by way of psychometric testing and targeted interview questions)
  • the areas of your life you want to change
  • the thoughts and beliefs that direct your life
  • the things you value and how to live with (or without) them
  • everything you wanted to be (and more)

Developing workplace health and wellness programs: Y2CP can help

Our consulting psychologists and HRM specialists can assist your organization (either private or public sector) to design and implement a workplace and wellness program which is best suited to it.

Leaman Long, B.A., B.Ed.
HRM Consultant
Y2 Consulting Psychologists

If you have any questions and/or comments, don't hesitate. Thank you!

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