Labor presentism: causes and consequences of this phenomenon

the work presentism it is one of the most important issues facing businesses today. There are many factors that can affect the performance of an organization, and the socio-economic and social environment is extremely important in this regard.

Since the start of the economic crisis in Spain, working conditions for many workers have changedAnd the fear of losing a job can cause many workers to hold onto their jobs even if they are unmotivated or upset at all.

Professional presentism or “empty chair syndrome”: causes and consequences

In our article “Survivor syndrome: working in times of crisis can be harmful to health”, we discuss the negative consequences of the crisis on the well-being of workers. Presentism, on the other hand, negatively affects the organization as productivity and employee performance declines.

Work presentism or face-to-face absenteeism: what is it?

Face-to-face absenteeism or presentism at work, refers to go and be present in the workplace, but devoting part of the working day to other functions that are not specific to the job. Among these functions we can find: connecting to social networks, viewing web pages, making calls, etc.

Although presentism is the opposite of absenteeism, its consequences for the organization are just as harmful.

Negative consequences of workers’ presentism

In the past, the main problem for organizations was the absenteeismBut as this has decreased due to the economic crisis, the percentage of employees suffering from work presentism has increased. According to Adecco, one in two Spanish companies admits having up to 10% of presenter workers. On the flip side, a Harvard Business Review study suggests that presentism costs American businesses around $ 150 trillion a year.

Despite the reduction in absenteeism, there has been no improvement in the productivity and work performance of companies, because what has happened is that the phenomenon of absenteeism has given way. the place to that of presentism. Employees seem to know the fate of the job market and don’t want to risk losing their jobs. Then they go to the workplace so that they cannot be blamed for the fact that they have committed absenteeism, but nevertheless his dedication at these times is not as effective as it should be.

Negative effects for the company

Knowing this, it should be mentioned that worker presentism affects the organization in different ways:

  • Lower worker and organizational productivity
  • Worsening occupational health of employees: Long-term presentism causes fatigue and boredom (also called “ drilling syndrome ”)
  • Encourage the transmission of disease: When the person is sick but decides to go to work so as not to lose their job, this can promote the transmission of diseases

Factors influencing the presentism of work

If these are the consequences of having presenters at work, we must ask what are the reasons why employees adopt behaviors related to presentism at work. Here is a list of the most common causes:

  • Lack of job security it can cause a person not to want to take time off work despite their illness or demotivation, because the uncertainty about the possibility of finding a job can cause them not to want to lose their job under any circumstances.
  • People who hold certain jobs may be more prone to presentism. Research seems to indicate that the teachers and health professionals they are more vulnerable to it.
  • Occupations with higher workloads are associated with more cases of presentism, as workers may want to avoid the accumulation of tasks if they are absent from their work.
  • Excessive pressure from superiors is also a causal factor of job presentism.
  • Lack of motivation is at the origin of many cases of presentism. In addition, other possible causes may be: lack of promotion and the performance of monotonous tasks in their work

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