Blogs

Derek Bishop

Director

Too sick not to work

Date added: 18th Dec 2014
Category: Employee Engagement

Taking time to ensure that employee welfare is taken care of can help to ensure that when fit, engaged employees in turn are ready to give maximum effort to the long term welfare of the company.

In a recent article we highlighted the UK productivity puzzle and now thanks to the British Heart Foundation we have one small clue which might indicate why in some cases we are working at less than our optimal best.  The BHF survey has revealed that millions of UK workers could be going to work whilst suffering from one illness or another.  In fact, according to the report:

  • 71% have attended their workplace despite being too ill to do their job
  • 40% have put off doctor’s appointments because of their work
  • 19% have postponed a hospital appointment due to work commitments

In a press release Lisa Young from the BHF said “This research is another reminder that health and wellbeing at work isn’t taken seriously enough.”  In fact, if you add work-related stress to the stress of having to attend work when ill, it is not surprising that there are days and weeks when productivity is well below par.

Employers who genuinely care about employees and their welfare may do well to take another hard look at sickness policies and how they are translated into action.  Remember that there is absolutely no point in having a policy which states that employees should stay at home when ill if the team leader marches through the workplace scattering coughs and sneezes as they go.  Equally there is no point in having a policy which puts rehabilitation before early return to work if the training is such that there is no back up for key tasks.  Taking time to ensure that employee welfare is taken care of can help to ensure that when fit, engaged employees in turn are ready to give maximum effort to the long term welfare of the company.

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