Absenteeism is a well-understood subject in HR and payroll circles, with savvy business managers mostly equipped to deal with this common workplace problem.

However, the problem of ‘presenteeism’ is not so well known or understood as it does not get a lot of attention. Presenteeism is defined as the problem of employees attending work while still sick; the definition can sometimes be extended to mean attending work while not being engaged or productive. Presenteeism is usually associated with workaholics but can also occur due to extreme job demands, or the employee’s fear of losing their job.

Consequences of presenteeism include lost productivity, poor health and exhaustion, workplace accidents caused by fatigued or ill workers, and even workplace epidemics such as office flu outbreaks.

A good manager should be able to assess each particular job or task independently, evaluate its success or profitability, determine the relative productivity of each employee, and establish whether ‘presenteeism’ issues are at play in the workplace.

For instance, if it takes five employees ten hours to finish a particular job while another team of five employees is able to achieve the same results in five hours, it would be a good time for the manager to investigate whether the lower productivity was caused by inadequate training, lack of teamwork, or an issue of presenteeism.

The Mitrefinch employee time and attendance system will enable employers to monitor and record each employee’s work history including when they started or finished work, and also what jobs they have worked on and for how long throughout their day. All this data can be fed into the manager’s dashboard of information to provide insights on production and productivity.