What every employer needs to know about E-presenteeism

over 1 year ago Carys Pegrum
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Just when we thought that working from home was the solution to all of our workplace problems- work-life balance, reducing the commute, flexibility…E-presenteeism throws a spanner in the works.

What is it?!

E-presenteeism is the growing culture among remote workers of feeling overworked and overwhelmed. Working harder and longer hours – even when they are sick or mentally exhausted, to prove to their employer that they are working just as hard at home, as they do in the office.

What this means to you as an employer… is lost productivity.

 The facts

  • 86% of people surveyed in an office setting said that they feel the need to prove to bosses that they are working harder to keep their jobs.

  • On average, those working from home are racking up an extra 28 hours of monthly overtime since lockdown began - equating to nearly four days’ work.

  • Not being able to unplug was the top challenge for remote workers in 2021.

  • The ‘always on’ culture has seen Microsoft chat messages increase by 42% after hours and 200% on weekends, and post pandemic we spend 147% more minutes in Teams meetings.

  • A survey of over 1,000 senior leaders found that 82% were at risk of burnout, saying that their mental health has declined since the pandemic.

  • The average cost of poor employee mental health is £1600 per person – the majority of this cost coming from e-presenteeism

 What can we do about it?

Increase the sense of belonging and human connectionSocial connection is not only an ethical imperative but a huge business incentive. Workplace belonging leads to 75% reduction in sick days, 50% reduction in turnoverrisk and 56% increase in performance. Business leaders must set the example and train managers on spotting the signs of loneliness and supporting staff. Make connection a priority for new starters. And create an ongoing and diverse range of opportunities between all teams to collaborate and have fun.

Review your policies – Absenteeism is apparent – you know when your team don’t show up to work. But E-presenteesim is different. You can’t tell when, or how much, someone’s performance is being hindered by illness. By putting clear digital culture processes and management training in place, you will be proactively benefiting your organisation now, and safeguarding for the future. Try not to think of it as necessary compliance, but rather an opportunity to create best practice. It’s an investment which will pay off.

Conduct staff surveys – It’s crucial that organisations with a culture of staff feeling they are expected to work when they are ill, address this immediately. By holding monthly surveys and asking staff directly, and anonymously, about their working life, you’ll gain a valuable insight into why they may be overworking. And it’s even more important that once you have this information that you act upon it.

If you’d like to speak to our expert team about compliance, high volume recruitment, onsite support or managing your workforce, please get in touch today. We can help create a bespoke resource solution tailored for your unique needs and goals.