Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Sure you can take sick leave, workload permitting

Heinz Schuepbach is director of the school of applied psychology at the University of Northwestern Switzerland.  He recently pointed out an interesting new trend: Presenteeism.  "There's a new phenomenon. We've moved from absenteeism to 'presenteeism'. People go to work even though they should stay at home because they are sick," said Schuepbach.
Now with the world in financial crisis and millions of people laid off, those who remain employed have more weight to carry and feel the ever-present threat of losing their jobs.  There's a distinct upward trend of workload and pressure in the modern economy.
"Presenteeism" has increased for two main reasons, according to Schuepach:

#1: The workload simply piles up when you're not at the office, leaving a huge backlog for you to contend with when you get back.
#2: People are afraid of being laid off.

Look around your office and notice how often people come to work when they should clearly be at home.  All coming to work when you're sick does is prolong your recovery time.  You are less productive if you work while ill anyway, but you dread returning to a backlog to the extent that you will drag your sick self and undergo 8 hours of torture to quell your feelings of guilt and fear of being laid off.  

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