Presenteeism is estimated to cost the UK economy a staggering £15.1 billion – £6.7 billion more than the cost of sickness absence.
There are two types of presenteeism:
1. When an employee is unable to engage properly with work due to sickness, fatigue, chronic pain, depression or stress.
2. When an employee drives him or herself to ill health as a result of working excessively.
According to an ’employee outlook’ report published by A Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in 2011, organisations are simply not providing their employees with enough support.
Of the 2000 employees surveyed, only 25% claimed that their organisations encouraged them to speak openly about mental health problems and only four out of 10 would tell their boss they had a mental health problem.
Most people surveyed continued to work regardless of having a mental health problem, which often effected their ability to concentrate, make good decisions and provide adequate customer service.
The report resonates with research carried out by mental health charity Mind in 2011, which revealed that 22% of employees who admitted to having a mental health disorder later regretted having done so, as they believed it contributed to them being sacked.
Work is a huge part of most our lives and it’s not uncommon to take life stresses into the workplace and vice versa. Job insecurity can cause employees to keep quiet about ill health and this can be detrimental both for the employee and for the organisation in the long run.
Counselling is an effective way of dealing with work-related mental health problems and many counsellors specialise in career counselling.
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