The Aviva’s Workers Lives Report which was published recently has highlighted the rise of presenteeism among workers. Presenteeism or working while sick is a growing problem for Irish businesses. Employees are often afraid to ring in sick as they believe work will pile up in their absence. This means that there are a high proportion of employees who come to work with ailments such as colds, allergies, headaches and depression.
Presenteeism poses a threat to overall business performance due to its impact on productivity and overall morale in the workplace. Viruses and sickness can be spread around the workplace very quickly and employees who force themselves to come into work when unwell is simply counterproductive.
“having employees who are unwell at work is a false economy”
According to Dr Doug Wright medical director at Aviva UK Health “having employees who are unwell at work is a false economy”. Organisations need to ensure they create a workplace where employees do not feel pressured into coming to work when they are unwell and to be safe in the knowledge their absence can be effectively managed.
VideoDoc also carried out research into this area earlier this year which highlighted the issue of presenteeism. Over half of people questioned had delayed seeking medical advice as they were worried about taking time off work.
VideoDoc offers an on-demand GP service to hundreds of thousands of patients. This service allows people to consult with a GP face-to-face via the online platform and without having to leave their workplace or take time off to travel to their local surgery.
For employers, investing in the health and wellbeing of their staff will go a long way in promoting a happier, more engaged and productive workforce – something that should be high on the wish list of every CEO