Why you should discourage presenteeism

Presenteeism, as it’s more formally known, is when a worker goes in to the office even though they are ill. Now, a lot of us are probably guilty of this, mostly to keep on top of work, but as an employer is it really worth having an employee come in if they are under the weather?

Here’s why presenteeism may not be best for business:

It could be counter-productive


As an employer, you want your team to be productive and strive to hit targets, but when someone is sick it is going to be hard for them to concentrate on these goals. In fact it might not be productive at all as they’re more likely to make an error or complete work a lot slower.

Just because your employee is physically there doesn’t mean they can give you 100%. Let them have the day off to recover, and if you’re worried about your business progression due to absence, presenteeism actually costs the UK economy twice as much as an employee being absent altogether.

The illness may spread


Being a team member down can be hard for an employer, but if your whole team is struck down it could be disastrous.

The spreading of an illness, especially during flu season, is much quicker when everyone is in one building. The best solution is to give the person who’s ill the time to recover. Make sure you’ve got having plans in place such as a second in command so the day can go on and the employee doesn’t come back to an overwhelming pile of work.

Your clients may get a bad impression


If you’re trying to woo a new client, sending an employee who isn’t 100% fit may not be the best plan. They may usual be your go-to for client meetings, but if they don’t perform at their usual standard and it could damage your reputation with the client.

Always have plans in place in advance for situations like this – rearranging the meeting may not be an option. To help with this, keep communication open between staff about current activity, and train up different members of the team so you have more than one skilled person to call upon.

Reduce morale


Understandably as a business owner you want your employee present and raring to get to work. However if the culture within your business is to never take time off this could cause animosity amongst your workforce.

Promote wellbeing throughout your business from gym membership offers, free fruit or supplying health guidance during flu season. Showing your workforce you care about them as a person will not only build morale but create a better working environment.

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