Double trouble

When you’re fighting for your team’s health and well-being two things are out to bite you: absenteeism and presenteeism.

Absenteeism is pretty straight forward: someone is ill and misses days at work. Depending on the country you are based in, your company has to either continue paying wages while that someone is absent or even directly cover the cost of their medical treatment. Sick days and medical expenses are something your company is probably already keeping track of.

Presenteeism is a bit more subtle. It means someone shows at work up but can’t fully perform their job. A recent graphic example is Hillary Clinton collapsing during the 9/11 memorial service. While Clinton suffered from pneumonia, in general being tired or even depressed are among the most common causes of presenteeism according to the Integrated Benefits Institute. Although it’s harder to measure, instruments such as the World Health Organization Workplace Health and Productivity Questionnaire can help.

So how big is the problem? A current study by GCC Insights estimates that on average four days per year and employee are lost to sick days (absenteeism) but more than ten times as much to presenteeism. Others are more conservative but still think the costs of presenteeism can be 2-3 times greater.

Now for the good news. Both problems can be addressed by setting up a holistic workplace well-being program. Even better, you’re not only doing it for the love (we’ll cover how your program can strengthen your employer brand in the next posts) but also for the money. Harvard calculated the average return on invest (ROI) of improved health in the workplace as 3:1. Just make sure your program covers the key drivers of presenteeism.

Stay healthy and engaged,

P.S: Ariana is designed to not only cover physical activity and nutrition but also sleep and stress management – get in touch to learn how she does it.

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