It’s called “presenteeism” and for many companies and their employees, it’s worse than absenteeism in terms of lost productivity. When your sick coworker comes to the office coughing up a lung, they don’t generally get more work done. They usually just end up contaminating their offices for everyone else.
Todd Whitthorne, president of ACAP Health, is trying to do something about it. The Emmy-winning broadcaster and health expert has spent most of his adult life helping others to achieve optimum health. He wants to help stop “presenteeism.”
“When an employee is sick, his or her ability to be productive drops dramatically,” Whitthorne says. “The negative consequences for the organization doesn’t end with one sick employee; most of the time collective performance will suffer because the sick employee will pass on infectious illnesses to their colleagues and clients.”
Here are some of his suggestions to end the practice of sick people coming in to work.
1) Lead by Example:
Managers set the standard. If they stay home when they are sick and encourage their employees to do the same, they will have a healthier office environment. A sick employee can be encouraged to have a coworker pick up the load, if necessary and adjustments can be made so that it’s fair to everyone.
2) Encourage 3-D daily:
Wellness benefits whether in the form of actually making immunity increasing supplements like Omega 3 and Vitamin D3 available for employees is one option; others are helping employees understand the importance of prioritizing their own health. Now that the Affordable Care Act is a reality, employees may be able to do more to help themselves when ill.
3) Utilize Technology:
With all the technology available to today’s employees, there is always the option to work from home using Skype, and the various other technologies available. Employers can work with employees to work out viable solutions.