The Real Cost of Presenteeism in the American Workplace

While absenteeism is often considered the biggest hindrance to workplace productivity, presenteeism—showing up to work when ill or otherwise impaired—is a far more significant issue. Studies have shown that the impact of presenteeism can be ten times greater than absenteeism. It costs businesses an average of $150 billion annually, and it can lead to poor morale, reduced productivity, and even physical injury. So why is presenteeism such a big problem? Here’s a look at five reasons why presenteeism should be taken seriously in every business.

Presenteeism Costs Money

When employees forgo their sick days and come to work despite feeling ill, they are more likely to make mistakes due to decreased concentration and energy levels. This could result in lost production time or costly errors that must be addressed. On top of this, if employees transmit their illnesses to other employees, the costs associated with increased absenteeism could be significant.

Presenteeism Reduces Productivity

It’s understandable that some tasks simply cannot be done from home. But if an employee shows up to the office while ill, they will almost certainly not perform at their usual level due to lower cognitive functioning caused by their illness. As a result, productivity could suffer significantly as these employees struggle with simple tasks that generally take them no time.

It Leads To Burnout & Poor Morale

When employees constantly come to work despite being sick, it sends a message that their health and well-being aren’t a priority for the business. This could lead to burnout among employees who feel they need to come in no matter what or risk being seen as unreliable by management. Moreover, seeing co-workers coming in while unwell could also reduce morale within the workplace as it reinforces unhealthy working habits and expectations from directions regarding attendance policies.

Increases The Risk Of Injury

Physical injuries are much more common among people who feel unwell than those who are healthy – whether due to fatigue or simply weakened coordination caused by illness symptoms such as fever or congestion. And this increases workers’ compensation claims and other associated costs for businesses which can quickly add up if not adequately addressed early on.

Very tired and demoralized employee

Puts Other Employees at Risk

Finally, having sick employees come into work is terrible for everyone else in the office because it increases their chances of also becoming ill due to close contact with someone who is already unwell – leading them down a similar path of presenteeism themselves! This chain reaction can quickly spiral out of control if left unchecked. Hence, businesses must put measures in place, such as flexible working policies that allow employees with mild illnesses (such as colds) to stay home without fear of reprisal or loss of pay while still ensuring that critical tasks get done on time and efficiently.

Three Tips to Handle Presenteeism

As you can see from these five points, presenteeism has severe financial and cultural consequences on businesses – which should not be taken lightly! To combat this issue effectively, you must follow these tips. Here are some tips that can help you decrease employee presenteeism.

Dental Benefits

Please don’t overlook the dental health of your employees, as it’s one of the leading costs of presenteeism. In addition, studies have shown that dental health issues such as gum disease or tooth decay can lead to increased sickness and reduced productivity, so be sure to offer your employees dental benefits that will help them take care of their teeth.

One great benefit is robust same-day dental implants. It’s been known to help decrease the chances of periodontitis and other oral diseases, and it only takes a day or so! In addition, you can choose those shoulder to shoulder with the traditional employer-provided dental plans, and they can even be integrated into a comprehensive health plan for your employees.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Another critical factor in reducing presenteeism is to offer flexible work arrangements and policies that allow employees to work from home or take time off for doctor’s appointments without fear of reprisal. For example, telecommuting or unlimited paid sick leave can significantly reduce the need for your employees to come to work when they aren’t feeling well.

Encourage Healthy Habits

Finally, it’s essential to encourage healthy habits among your employees, so consider offering wellness programs or other incentives designed to promote exercise and healthy eating habits. For example, offering company gym memberships and discounted gym classes can help your employees stay fit outside of work and reduce the chances of coming in sick.

By implementing some or all of these strategies, you can reduce presenteeism at your workplace – helping to protect your employees’ productivity and bottom line. So remember to use these tips to create a more productive and profitable business!

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