Presenteeism: A new word for working when sick
Colleagues who work with runny noses, sore throats and clammy skin are as seasonal as the flu. Yet are sick employees workplace troopers or are they insecure about their jobs?
Depending on individuals and their roles within an organization, sick employees can be present in body and not in spirit, while others can be ill and fully functional. "Secure employees don't fear retribution for an occasional absence because of sickness," says study author Gary Johns, a management professor at Concordia's John Molson School of Business.
So why do employees with acute, chronic or episodic illness work rather than stay home? Caregivers and people working in early education, for example, report higher rates of presenteeism compared to people from other fields. "Often, a person might feel socially obligated to attend work despite illness," says Johns, "while other employees feel organizational pressure to attend work despite medical discomfort."
Average of three presenteeism days
As part of his investigation, Johns surveyed 444 people on their job requirements, work experience, absenteeism and presenteeism. Over the previous six months, participants reported an average of three presenteeism days and an average of 1.8 absenteeism days, most of which were attributed to illness.
"Respondents who viewed absenteeism as more legitimate reported more absences, more sick days and fewer presenteeism days," says Johns.
Johns' study found presenteeism was elevated among workers engaged in interdependent projects or teamwork. Those who were insecure about their jobs also engaged in more presenteeism. "Presentees felt a compulsion to attend despite illness," says Johns.
When absence is frowned upon
According to this and previous studies, presenteeism is more frequent when people face job insecurity and impermanent job status. Absenteeism, however, is more elevated in unionized work settings or when unemployment is low.
Organizations, employers and human resources departments have traditionally examined ways to curb absenteeism, but have paid little attention to presenteeism. "Estimating the cost of absenteeism is more tangible than counting the impact of presenteeism," says Johns. "Yet a worker's absence or presence during illness can have both costs and benefits for constituents."
More information: psycnet.apa.org/jo… ocp/16/4/483
Provided by Concordia University
- Going to Work When Sick May Lead to Future Absences Jun 10, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Pressure to work when sick has long-term negative effects Jun 13, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Sick at work and surfing the net? You're not alone -- or are you? Nov 09, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Obese workers cost workplace more than insurance, absenteeism Oct 08, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Present imperfect: Doctors in training work even when ill Sep 14, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
(HealthDay)—In 2008 to 2010, the prevalence of key health behaviors among U.S. adults varied, with about one in five adults current smokers and 62.1 percent overweight or obese, according to a report presented ...
Health 56 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—The overall health of Americans isn't improving much, with about six in 10 people either overweight or obese and large numbers engaging in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, heavy drinking or ...
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
A federal court in San Francisco Tuesday struck down Arizona's ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke in early childhood are more likely to grow up to physically aggressive and antisocial, regardless of whether they were exposed during pregnancy or their parents have a history ...
Health 3 hours ago | 1 / 5 (1) | 0
Most elite athletes consider doping substances "are effective" in improving performance, while recognising that they constitute cheating, can endanger health and entail the obvious risk of sanction. At the same time, the ...
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety may improve a stress-related heart condition in people with stable coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
56 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Factors such as increased case finding may explain why Michigan had half of the total spinal infections associated with contaminated methylprednisolone acetate in the recent fungal meningitis ...
46 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Early use of tracheostomy for mechanically ventilated patients not associated with improved survival
For critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation, early tracheostomy (within the first 4 days after admission) was not associated with an improvement in the risk of death within 30 days compared to patients who ...
56 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Three-quarters of public schools in the metro Atlanta area contain microbes, including bacteria indicating the presence of fecal matter, according to research published in the May 17 issue of ...
36 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
5 hours ago | 4 / 5 (4) | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
5 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (2) | 0 |