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Definition - What does presenteeism mean?

Presenteeism is a workplace situation in which an employee is present for duty but is not fully capable of performing workplace tasks due to an illness or other condition. Employees who are not fully functional at work can experience productivity losses of 30% or more. Unlike absenteeism, presenteeism may be hard to recognize.

SureHire explains presenteeism

Employees who are unable to perform their task effectively or efficiently, but do not to take time off work, contribute to the problem of presenteeism. Reasons for presenteeism include chronic physical or mental illness, use or abuse of medications or drugs, external stress or other difficulties in the employee’s personal life. Presenteeism leads to a loss of productivity for the employee and hidden costs to the employer. In addition, when presenteeism leads to a lack of care and diligence, it may create serous health and safety risks to the employee or to others. Because the employee is not absent from work (absenteeism), the costs of presenteeism are sometimes hard to detect. A wellness and health promotion program may help to address the causes and consequences of presenteeism.

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