Presenteeism in the Workplace

Presenteeism in the Workplace

Presenteeism is an ongoing issue affecting most businesses. This is where employees will come into work ill instead of phoning in sick. It can create direct and indirect costs to an organisation as the signs of presenteeism are not necessarily easy to identify. Presenteeism can affect your business by reducing productivity. However, it takes employees longer to recover from illnesses, sick employees can infect their colleagues, staff are more likely to make errors and it also decreases the overall efficacy of teams.

Did you know that?

  • 64% of UK employees have gone into work in the last 12 months despite being unwell.
  • More than one in four employees ignore their doctor’s orders to stay at home and ‘soldier on’.
  • 86% of respondents report observing ‘presenteeism’ in their organisation over the last 12 months.
  • Some 89% of workers who turned up for work unwell admit they are less productive.
  • For every £1 cost to business of absenteeism there is estimated to be an additional cost of £2.50 due to presenteeism.

How to tackle it?

Presenteeism can be damaging to businesses. Therefore, properly managing it will save companies money in the short and long term. Along with, increasing employee engagement and productivity.

Invest in wellness

Healthy employees are happy and productive employees. Therefore, place an emphasis on the health and wellness of your workplace. This will demonstrate that your company is responsible and cares about its staff. As a result you will have engaged and loyal employees. Firstly, create a wellness programme to cater to your employees needs. This needs to help improve their emotional, physical and social wellness. Secondly, re-examine the existing wellness programme. It needs to be adaptable based on any new issues employees are facing and investigate the best wellness solutions for healthier employees.

Offer management training

Companies need to provide a safe working environment for employees. This needs to be where employees feel comfortable talking to their line managers and taking time off if they are poorly. Therefore, it’s important for line managers to be able to deal with and identify signs of presenteeism. Ultimately, line managers need to do right by employees. For example, encouraging staff to stay home and recover from sicknesses. Management Training Days include multiple topics for managers to become competent, confident and compliant when dealing with an employee’s health. For example topics include mental health, pressure and performance, stress, managing change, and developing resilience.

Boost Morale

Frequent presenteeism can cause low morale. So, employers should look for ways to try to boost it and show employees they are appreciated. Offering team building activities to your employees such as lunchtime workouts or signing up to a racing event can encourage colleague bonding. If you would like to offer activities within your office then Office Yoga, Office Pilates, Office Massages  can help destress employees and provide them with time to focus on themselves.

If you are looking to implement a wellness strategy into your business, please visit Your Wellness Hub on or email us on