Absenteeism & Presenteeism
By Guy Osmond on 12th Jun 2011
Recent reports show that average sickness absence fell from 6.7 to 5 days in 2010, the lowest for over two decades. The EEF/Westfield Health survey also found that 45% of employees had no time off at all. Data from 454 employers demonstrated a number of factors, including the impact of the fit note, line managers taking greater responsibility for absence management and employers funding private health care.
What I cannot find anywhere is any recent data about presenteeism (lost productivity through people at work but feeling and performing below par). This is obviously hard to measure but it seems logical that, in a troubled economy (with increased unemployment and reduced job security), people might be concerned about taking time off. Can we then infer that some of the improvement in absenteeism statistics can be attributed to presenteeism? That is, people are still sick but just not taking time off. We may never know!
The presenteeism research that does exist suggests that its cost is dramatically higher than the cost of absenteeism.
There are many ways that ergonomics interventions can impact presenteeism and we are always looking for simple ways to assess their success (or otherwise). Such implementations should always enhance wellbeing and performance but their impact may be hard to measure.
The Work Screen tool (reviewed in our October 2010 webinars) assesses “Work Instability” using a unique scale incorporating both physical and psycho-social factors. This enables employers to identify those struggling with their workload and formulate an action plan to address their needs. Subsequently, further Work Screens can be carried out to assess the effectiveness of the interventions.
What our customers say
"I bought this keyboard on advice from an ergonomist during some training, so glad I did. It is very comfortable to use. As per the previous review it takes a short while to get used to the difference in the layout, but once you do it is very easy to use, just a very light touch needed on the keys rather than needing to bang on them really hard. I did buy the separate number pad, but I have yet to use it, considering sending it back as I'm not sure I will need it. If the keyboard is anything to go by it'll be brilliant for those that need a number input device."
Anonymous on the Skboard 840 Saturnus Mini Keyboard