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Last updated: April 20, 2010 at 16:45 pm

Your Boss making you work even when sick? ask him to read this..

Does your employer force you to be present at work even when you are sick or unwell?

Next time you can give him a hint that pressurizing employees to work during the times when they’re not at the most pink of their health could, in fact, risk the performance of the employee on the back lack of focus on productivity.

A new research points out that work places where staff comes to work despite illness are more likely to see lower performance and greater sickness absence.


A more technical term for such period of presence of ill workers in the work place is popularly known as ‘Presenteeism’ in the business parlance. Presenteeism points towards impaired productivity while being physically present at work place.

Presenteeism is the opposite of absenteeism. In contrast to absenteeism, when employees are absent from work, presenteeism discusses the problems faced when employees come to work in spite of illness, which can have similar negative repercussions on business performance.

The research further points out that sickness presence are more prevalent than sickness absence. That apart, if you are ill and your disease can spread to other while at the work place, some of the other employees stand the risk of receiving those bad viruses of contagious diseases from you.

The survey points out that nearly half of employees (45%) reported one or more days of presenteeism as compared to 18% taking days off ill in the same period.

Illness factors during presenteeism need not always be contagious in nature. Even stress related issues of financial problems, work-related stress and pressures from seniors to complete the targeted work can also lead to mental stress.

Depression and anxiety are often the common illness suffered by a majority of the ill employees. Such psychological problems can affect the productivity and efficiency of their work.

Employers can also take an initiative from their side to ensure a conducive and low stressful environment. Proper work culture & periodic breaks in between the work schedule could act as stress-busters.

Measures to Combat Presenteeism

  1. Redirecting ill employees back to home.
  2. Educating employees about ill-effects of Presenteeism.
  3. Conducive work environment to kill stress.
  4. Measured pressure from seniors for the targeted work.
  5. Enhancement of number of sick leaves.

Aha…doesn’t that sound music to ears – I think this should be forwarded to every boss – What say :)

1 Comment

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  • I wish my boss spoke good enough English to read this. I am in the office today after being bawled out for taking sick days when I have severe gastroenteritis. Yesterday I was on a drip, today I’m in work cos if not I’ll get fired!

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