Presenteeism is when employees work (or, at least, attend work) while they’re sick and should be resting, or when they work longer hours than they should in an effort to be seen to be “going the extra mile”.

The name “presenteeism” comes from the fact that, although the employee is present at work (and this is the key focus here!) it’s unlikely that they’re being especially productive.

Having staff who voluntarily put in extra hours or soldier on when they’re ill might seem like a benefit to employers, but in reality businesses where presenteeism is common often report lower productivity, higher stress levels, and even increased sickness due to the fact that minor illnesses are not dealt with properly, and can easily be spread throughout the team.

Regardless of whether your staff are salaried or paid by the hour, managers are advised to pay close attention to employees’ timesheets, and to discourage staff from regularly working more hours than they should — as well as encouraging the use of annual leave to ensure that employees are well rested.

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