Buzzwords – Presenteeism

The clock strikes 6pm and, one by one, your colleagues switch off their PCs and head home or for a swift one with the rest of the team.

But the boss is still around. It wouldn’t do to be seen to have a life after work, even though there is no good reason for you to stay behind.

Being a slave to your job is commonly perceived as the fast track to the upper echelons of management. In fact presenteeism is so widespread that some commentators have described it as the ‘sickie’ of the noughties.

It would seem some employees are so scared of losing their jobs in the next spate of redundancies that they work excessive hours or remain at work in the evenings – even when there is nothing to do. The result is high levels of stress, unhappiness and poor performance, which ironically only increases the risk of the very disaster they are hoping to avoid.

Employee welfare aside, absenteeism has resulted in a far more distressing phenomenon as companies desperate to be seen to do the right thing, seek ways to show that employee welfare is a top priority – dress down Fridays.

The sight of Bob in sales and that shirt will stay with us for the rest of our corporate life.

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