Costly Germs Present and Accounted For

Absenteeism is measured by employers to gauge the health of the environment and culture because unscheduled absences are costly.  But what about presenteeism – the cost to companies of employees coming to work ill?

Studies have found that on-the-job productivity losses are far greater than absence related productivity losses for the same conditions.

According to the American Productivity Audit that was conducted to measure the impact of health conditions on work, presenteeism cost U.S. employers over $150 billion a year.  Though it is more difficult to quantify, most agree that the cost of presenteeism is significantly higher – up to 10 times more in some studies – than that of absenteeism.

The Balance suggests these solutions – more detail in their article “Presenteeism (and How Much It Costs Employers)“.

  • Set the tone at the top – if you are a company leader and you’re ill, stay home
  • Make sure sick leave policies adequately cover employees when have to stay home
  • Encourage employees to take time off
  • Provide comprehensive insurance and wellness benefits to reduce sick time
  • Let employees know they matter

Here are more resources to help employers understand and reduce the costs of presenteeism.

The Price of Presenteeism – Forbes

Four-year Review – NCBI|NLM|NIH

The Cost of Presenteeism – EHS Magazine






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