How to avoid workplace presenteeism?

How to avoid workplace presenteeism?

Since the economic crisis began in the world, the working conditions of many employees have changed. Now, avoiding workplace presenteeism becomes equally important.

The fear of losing jobs can lead many workers to hold on to their positions, despite not being sufficiently motivated or upset.

Labor presenteeism causes first losses to companies. Therefore, more and more entities are betting on specific software that reduces this behavior and favor productivity.

The work presenteeism is one of the most important issues that businesses are facing today.

What is labor presenteeism?

Labor presenteeism refers to attend and be present in the workplace. But devoting part of the workday to other functions that are not appropriate to their job.

The term presenteeism arises as a contrast to absenteeism because it aims to highlight the fact that the worker is present in the workplace. Even if it does not have an impact on an increase in their productivity: “‘presenteeism,’ a new labor phenomenon in the face of fear of losing a job.

Causes and growth of labor presenteeism

Lack of motivation, personal problems, overwork, lack of communication with those responsible, and marathon working hours are among the leading causes that generate labor presenteeism.

This phenomenon has become an increasingly common practice in many companies. Today in 60% of the companies, labor presenteeism is a reality. Fortunately, it is possible to avoid this type of problem.

Which companies avoid workplace presenteeism practice?

The companies that measure the work of employees by their productivity and not by the number of hours they spend at the workplace.

Encouraging flexible hours and the reconciliation of working life with personal life reduces the proliferation of this culture of presenteeism.

Negative consequences of workplace presenteeism

In the past, the main problem for organizations was absenteeism. But as it has declined due to the economic crisis, the percentage of employees suffering from labor presenteeism has increased.

On the other hand, a study by the Harvard Business Review seems to indicate that presenteeism costs American companies around 150 billion dollars a year.

Despite the reduction in absenteeism, there has been no improvement in the productivity and job performance of companies. Employees seem to know the difficult situation in the labor market and do not want to risk losing their jobs.

So, they go to the workplace so that their manager can’t complain about having absenteeism. But their dedication during those hours is not as efficient as it should be.

How workplace attendance affects the company?

Labor presenteeism is an increasingly widespread practice. In recent years, it has increased by 40%. The most common consequences of these attitudes generated by the lack of motivation of the worker are:

  • The decrease in productivity.
  • Increase in workplace accidents due to the growth of distractions.
  • Conflicts and discussions from different points of view.
  • Little involvement with the values ​​of the company. Low quality in the completion of the tasks.

Employees are the engine of all companies and are essential to achieving success. In short, presenteeism causes discomfort in the workforce and losses for the company.

Avoiding presenteeism at the workplace will lead to development of healthy work culture within the organization.

How to avoid workplace presenteeism?

A motivated worker is more productive. But how can one make him happier and, therefore, prevent workplace presenteeism from establishing itself in the company? Making the worker’s life easier so that he feels good and his labor involvement comes from himself. To achieve this, simple measures can be taken, such as:

1. Knowing the needs of the workers

92% of the HR directors of the top 100 companies have made an effort to understand the needs of their employees.

In short, they have opted to place people at the center of their business. Adapting their company policies to the needs of their collaborators, thus guaranteeing their engagement.

2. Applying Telework

Successful organizations have opted for teleworking when possible. Telework is a variant that allows employees to carry out their work from anywhere, without having to go to the company daily.

However, most companies that use it agree that this work cannot be offered to any employee since it requires a very defined profile.

It must be an orderly, responsible employee, predisposed to follow some guidelines, and must meet the objectives set for the welfare of the entire company.

3. Promote actions to reduce stress

Stress is directly related to workplace presenteeism. We can implement measures such as establishing five-minute breaks every two hours of work, providing the employee with courses to manage stress and relaxation techniques.


The employer’s duty in both cases is to understand what are the causes of these attitudes. Talking with the employee and reaching an agreement that can facilitate their motivation is one of the priorities to tackle both presenteeism and absenteeism.

Maybe the way your work needs to be changed and instead of working part-time, you work on projects, or perhaps you should improve the conditions for a better reconciliation of work and family life.

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