Is Presenteeism Dragging Your Company Productivity?

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Employees are majorly judged on the basis of how much they are being seen seated on their seats rather than how qualitative their work is. They actually appreciate the “butt in seat time”. Because of this, the issue of presenteeism often arises and even the employees understand that as long as they are sitting on their work desk, they are being a good employee. The other form of presenteeism can also be when an employee is dealing with illness but still coming to the office even when he is not able to function properly. Infact, some employees may not be ill but might be worried because of their child’s illness. This doesn’t just drop their performance but the performance of the company as well.

What gives rise to presenteeism?

There are multiple reasons for employees to not take leaves. It may be because of their manager, or because of the unreal deadlines, or even the incentive they are chasing.

Talking about bosses, the employees may be asked by him to work on a vacation i.e be mentally present in the office itself. Besides, he may be making the employees feel guilty of taking a leave, etc. When employees are treated this way even when there is a biometric attendance software in place gives rise to a work culture where taking a leave is considered no less than a sin.

The employees should be made to understand that while they were given the job offer, the leaves were a part of it as well. Under salary and benefits, there are various paid time off as vacation, sick, personal days etc that an employee is entitled to. So, when required they should be availed.

As a matter of fact, a workplace where employees are discourages to take leaves or not given the timeline for completion of the work accordingly sees a staff that is less motivated to work. Employees end up becoming more and more resentful, and overworked.

If it is not the boss then it is the employee who has a way too much sense of duty that makes him/her come to work even when ill. In such situations, the employees should be encouraged to take rest by the manager himself.

How to fix presenteeism?

  • Presenteeism rises from a culture problem, it all starts from the top. Senior managers need to understand that they are propelling things. People see them as an example. So, when a manager is sick, he should also take leave. This will encourage the employees to take off when required. 
  • As a measure to motivate employees, you should also provide them with enough sick leaves so that they can use the leaves without any worry of running out of their leave balance.
  • To cut down on illness and ultimately leaves because of that, the organisation should keep an insurance plan in place so that the employees can seek medical help without any worry of money.

In a nutshell, the companies should keep using biometric attendance software and motivating the employees to stay at home when they are not well.

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Sukriti Saini

Sukriti Saini works as a content marketing strategist at HROne. She has done Bachelors in Journalism from Delhi University and carries several years of experience in content development. HR trends, Productivity, Performance and topics related to Employee Engagement garner most of her writing interest here. During leisure, she loves to write and talk about fashion, food & life.

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