By Health Shield | Posted 11th February 2019 | Employer Blogs
Presenteeism isn’t just turning up for work when you’re unwell, it also includes not taking enough breaks, working too hard and being unable to stop working outside of your normal working hours. The detrimental effects that presenteeism can have on long-term productivity, engagement, loyalty and most importantly, employee health, can mean that employers should take a proactive approach to prevent this.
Research has shown that the amount of people coming into work and under-performing due to being unwell has tripled since 2010, with more than one in four employees ignoring their doctor’s orders to stay at home. Employees coming into work whilst they are unwell means they won’t be performing to the best of their ability, which could make their illness worse or increase the risk of passing it on to others.
Understanding the needs of your employees is crucial in improving workplace health and wellbeing to reduce prolonged occurrences of presenteeism or absenteeism. Despite research to suggest that presenteeism is associated with increases in common mental health conditions, as well as stress-related absence, only one in ten employers said presenteeism is viewed as a priority by their board.
A staggering 90% of employees said that struggling with mental health issues such as stress, anxiety or mild depression, stops them from thriving at work and performing to the best of their ability. By putting prevention and early intervention at the heart of your wellbeing strategy, you can expect to see a positive impact on your bottom line and reduce the risk of presenteeism.
Ways to help prevent presenteeism
Maintaining a good work-life balance and being able to switch off to do things that you enjoy is key in order to help retain focus and concentration in the workplace. It is also recommended to encourage employees to take short, regular breaks, take time off when needed and be flexible where possible to ensure optimum motivation and productivity.
What’s more, is the importance of introducing ergonomic support to the working environment? Reports claim that 34% of UK employees go to work when suffering from musculoskeletal issues, so in order to maintain a healthy workforce it’s important to take preventative measures. Simple solutions such as back supports and foot rests to physically aid employees to become more comfortable at work will have a positive impact on their wellbeing.
At Health Shield, we offer a range of Occupational Health checks and services to provide healthy working environments across a range of industries, aiming to keep presenteeism and absenteeism to a minimum. As well as helping you comply with the latest Health & Safety legislation, our Occupational Health Programme provides peace of mind for employers by preventing work-related injury, illness and stress wherever possible.
For employees already suffering with a musculoskeletal condition, our On-Demand Physio service provides access to advice, a diagnosis and a recovery programme from a Senior Chartered Physiotherapist. Also available on our Health Cash Plans is our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and our NHS-approved* mental wellbeing app – Thrive, supporting employees to keep on top of their mental wellbeing both at home and at work. Why not visit the Products area of our website to find out more?