The Cost of Absenteeism and Presenteeism
Unhealthy employees cost British firms more than one month a year of lost productivity
34,000 workers were recently surveyed across UK industries as part of Britain’s Healthiest Workplace (BHW). Findings show that an average of 27.5 days of productive time per employee is being lost each year, as a result of ill-health.
This loss is a combination of taking time off work due to sickness, or underperforming when in the office (presenteeism). The equivalent cost of this to the economy is a staggering £73 billion a year.
The study (developed by VitalityHealth and delivered in partnership with the University of Cambridge, RAND Europe and Mercer) shows how tangible the benefits for promoting wellbeing can be. The top 20% ranked organisations are losing on average a week less of productive time due to absenteeism and presenteeism compared with those in the bottom 20%.
Worringly, it seems that many participating employees were poor at judging their own health levels. 63% of respondents with three or more risk factors (such as living outside the healthy range for lifestyle factors such as exercise or diet, or clinical factors such as high blood pressure) believed that they were actually in good or very good health. This can obviously impede any self-driven health improvement efforts, and suggests that organisational input is needed. When organisations did invest in health promotion however, findings showed that as employee health improved over time, it directly lead to significant productivity gains.
Bodet’s Absence Management Software Module can be used to monitor absence KPIs, such as the Bradford Factor. This can then help to identify sickness patterns linked to causes such as stress before they turn into long term issues, assisting with your wellbeing strategy.
For more information about how our Workforce Management Solutions can increase productivity through boosting wellbeing and employee engagement, please contact us.