the practice of being present at one's place of work for more hours than is required, especially as a manifestation of insecurity about one's job.
"one of the general symptoms of employee insecurity is presenteeism"
Do you really have to be at an office to be a productive member of a workforce?
There are lots of reasons why people feel they need to be seen at work rather than work from home, the majority of people feel that if they aren't physically seen to be working, their colleagues and employers think they are simply sitting at home in their pyjamas and having a duvet day. Many feel they would miss out on important meetings and end up being overlooked for promotions and work opportunities by simply not being present.
But this feeling of insecurity is leading to an unhealthy workforce. A study by health insurer Vitality found that more than 40% of employees said their work was being affected by health problems - a figure that's risen by a third over the last five years. And in its recent annual Health and Well-Being at Work Survey Report the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) also found evidence of unhealthy trends in the workplace.
The CIPD said more than four-fifths (83%) of its respondents had observed presenteeism in their organisation, and a quarter (25%) said the problem had got worse since the previous year. Presenteeism, such as when employees come to work while ill, at their organisation not only causes further illnesses in other employees, but it also means you can't work properly and usually it means the illnesses are prolonged.
So what's the answer, many parents need the flexibility of being able to work from home in order to be there for their children and now there are even more people having to care for elderly relatives - again needing the workplace to be more flexible and to make sure workers are not sidelined just because they are not present.
And if you didn't think this is a real issue, then think again, 54,000 women a year pay the price for having a family, some are even calling it the 'motherhood tax' in Britain, as they find they are pushed out of their jobs following maternity leave or face gender pay gaps if they do return to work.
According to the Equality and Human Rights commission 77% of working mums face negative or discriminatory treatment in the workplace
The Institute for Fiscal Studies’ (IFS) report found women’s wages start to fall compared to men after starting a family, while a study by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) highlighted the fact women are often overlooked in favour of their male colleagues when it comes to promotion.
The number one thing holding these women back at work is workplace ethics that haven't changed in decades; 'you have to be in it to win it' attitude with success measured by how early or late you leave the office and how long your bottom is physically on your seat.
But not all workplaces are arcaic - we just have to make sure we big up those who are more enlightened so that others follow suit!