Employee Health: Please Don’t Come to Work! Sick Employees Equal Greater Risk.

Category: Health

By Frank Kenna

According to a Salary.com article, because of the current high unemployment rate, calling in sick has fallen out of favor to the extent that there’s now a word to describe it’s opposite—“presenteeism.”  The website Wictionary defines this as, “The act of being present at work even if one’s too sick to be productive, or work beyond the expected hours.”

Even if you’re not a workplace heath & safety expert, it’s obvious that having employees come to work when they should be home poses many problems.  Among them is spreading viruses to other employees and doing substandard work and making mistakes.  And it’s expensive: One study analyzed 17 diseases and found that lost productivity from presenteeism was 7.5 times greater than productivity loss from absenteeism.

What to do?  Here’s where your workplace communication program can help.  Let your employees know that it’s okay to stay home when they’re sick; that’s it’s even appreciated.  And let them know that you are concerned not just about their health and wellness, but of everyone’s.  These simple steps will make them realize that’s staying home is the right thing to do and that you care about them as people and employees.

Sharon Toelle
September 14, 2010

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