Absenteeism is always a problem for employees and organizations; employees are concerned about leaves, pay check, deadlines, pending work and more, while organizations are concerned about productivity, head count, load balance, presentations, meetings, discussions, goals to meet, decisions to make a lot more.
Well, as Dr. Iris, a Canadian doctor observes, there is much bigger problem: presenteeism! [Read the snippet about her observation in RD, Aug 2008]
When employees report to work when ill or when they cannot concentrate on work because of other pressing personal issues, it is said presenteeism is a much bigger problem than absenteeism. Ironically, the loss is in the same terms of the absenteeism; low productivity, missing deadlines, messing up with critical aspects of work which need re-work, decision making, meetings, presentations and the like. Adding to the list, there is an increase in stress levels!
It’s all the more worse if an employee opts to work when sick. Employees feeling that they are okay and can concentrate on work is the major mishap. When a person is ill, a lot less can be accomplished than when normal. And we can’t ignore the fact that the colleagues are at risk [of falling ill] too, as there is obvious interaction at work.
So, according to the Canadian doctor, it is best to call in sick when not in a position to attend regular duties. Personally, I would prefer to call in sick too and take rest when ill. But, am sure the doctor doesn’t know that we have bosses who say “I don’t think so!” when we call in sick! Huh!