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What on earth is presenteeism?!

Lee Evans
Lee Evans20.10.2016

I recently overheard, in passing, a conversation about "presenteeism".

This wasn't something I'd heard of before so I had to look it up - put simply, it's when someone turns up for work when they're really poorly and shouldn't have done; the opposite then of the more well known and much more deplorable practice of absenteeism!

Maybe I'm just a bit too Yorkshire and/or old fashioned, but I was always brought up expected to turn up to work unless "your leg was hanging off" (I can still remember my mum telling me those exact words when my teenage self tried in vain to "absentee" my paper round!).

First impressions can be deceiving...

I'll probably get shot by the HR department, but my instinctive reaction was that this "absenteeism" didn't sound like such a bad thing!

The bah-humbug in me can't help but think that it wouldn't do some people harm to 'man up' a bit on occasion and get themselves to work!

However, reading a bit further into it it seems the experts disagree (who'd have thought, eh?!).

"The biggest threat to UK workplace productivity "

According to this article from the UK's CIPD, presenteeism is actually a pretty big problem for businesses.

We've all been there though - sat at work, wondering why on earth the quivering, spluttering, shivvering, sneezing mess sat next to us thought it would be a good idea to climb out of bed and spread their germs as far and wide as possible rather than staying at home when it's so clear that would have been the more appropriate choice. (let's hope they get the message before the zombie apopolypse).

What's it got to do with us..?

By now perhaps you're wondering what on earth any of this really has to do with us as a technology business?

First and foremost, we're a business too and this is definitely an issue we can recognise in our team at times so thought it would make a good topic for the blog.

In terms of technology, we have just released the Autumn edition of our FREE Business Talk publication.

In this issue, we look at the trend towards a "Virtual Workforce" in business (working at home or remotely, to me and you).

Clearly the reduction of so called presenteeism could be a signifiant benefit of enabling and empowering your staff with a more flexible working environment; it would surely discourage those comitted but misplaced from turning up to work when clearly not fit, if they know they can still work effectively from home?

Have you considered the possible benefits that improving your business's virtual working capability could bring?

Why not sign up for our Business Talk publications and receive future editions discussing other business trends and topics, delivered quarterly with our compliments.

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