Presenteeism is when employees go to work despite being sick. It is a phenomenon that is almost as common as absenteeism.

Be sick, when you are sick
Some people ignore their illness and go to work because they are worried that tasks will pile up on their desk in their absence. Others feel guilty towards colleagues or clients who they feel depend on their presence.

Anyone can get sick and it is important that you prioritise getting healthy again.

When we are ill both the body and the mind need time to recover.

If you do not respect the illness, the risk of a prolonged period of illness increases.

The manager is the role model
As manager, you can help to create a culture in the company where it is acceptable to stay home when you are ill.

In this way your employees do not need to worry whether they are letting colleagues down, and you reduce the risk of contagion and long-term absenteeism.


Clear guidelines
It may be a really good idea to establish some company guidelines for how to behave when employees get sick. Some employees, for example, continue to respond to emails or take calls even though they have a sick day.

This is also a form of presenteeism and it is therefore a good idea to ask both the person and their colleagues to limit communication.