Colds, flu and tummy bugs – is presenteeism the bug in your office?

While it’s important to keep a handle on absence, it can be counterproductive to have people working when they are unwell

With winter drawing in, you might worry that sick days taken by your employees will soar. In fact, only four days or so were lost to sickness per UK worker last year according to the Office for National Statistics.
This is the lowest since records began. Are we getting healthier? Or is ‘presenteeism’ endemic in the workplace?
Presenteeism is when employees come into work despite being sick enough to justify staying at home.
While it’s important to keep a handle on absence, it can be counterproductive to have people working when they are unwell – through both being ineffective and spreading illness. A third of workers believe they’ve picked up a cold from a ‘mucus trooper’ colleague.
Getting the balance between absenteeism and presenteeism is a fine art – but worth getting right.
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Ian heads up the HR Dept Edinburgh & the Lothians team. The HR Dept specialises in helping SMEs with everything to with employment, through a local and personal service delivering practical and pragmatic advice and support. With nearly 30 years HR experience, Ian has a wealth of experience in helping businesses to ensure success through their people, be legally compliant and handle tricky people issues. As a business owner himself, Ian understands the challenges that come with running and growing a business. He is known for his ability to explain complex concepts simply and to make learning fun and enjoyable.