All work but no drive

The Advertiser - Careers - - News - – Fran Met­calf

A NEW work­place scourge called pre­sen­teeism is eat­ing at com­pany prof­its and cost­ing Aus­tralian busi­nesses about $6 bil­lion in lost pro­duc­tiv­ity each year, a new study re­veals.

While ab­sen­teeism is when work­ers take sick leave for be­ing un­well, pre­sen­teeism is when they con­tinue to turn up to work but their pro­duc­tiv­ity and ef­fec­tive­ness is dra­mat­i­cally re­duced.

Re­search pub­lished in the Aus­tralia and New Zealand Jour­nal of Psy­chi­a­try found de­pres­sion, anxi- ety and other psy­cho­log­i­cal stresses were the big­gest con­trib­u­tors to lost pro­duc­tiv­ity. The study mon­i­tored the work of more than 60,000 em­ploy­ees for chronic and acute phys­i­cal and men­tal health con­di­tions.

Out of 20 dif­fer­ent phys­i­cal and men­tal con­di­tions, men­tal health was found to be the sin­gle largest con­trib­u­tor to lost pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Uni­ver­sity of Queens­land pro­fes­sor Har­vey White­ford says the more se­vere the worker’s men­tal health is­sue, the more pro­duc­tiv­ity was lost.

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