Well, it’s quite simple, its due to lower productivity. We all know when we come into work under the weather, we struggle to focus, we’re less creative, we’re slower than normal and I for one certainly spend more time talking about my ailments to anyone who will listen! Then if we consider how we are potentially passing the illness on to others, costing yet more money, it does make you stop and think! Would people be better off staying at home to recuperate, and come back fitter and stronger, sooner?
Working in an engaged team impacts positively on sickness, the research suggests that the annual sickness level of an engaged employee is 2.69 days as apposed to 6.19 in disengaged, so this could suggest an engaged person may be more likely to come into work when they are unwell.
So, where’s the balance? Well we don’t have the answer, but we do believe that by creating an environment of openness and trust, operating in a flexible manner, having honest conversations with people when they seem unwell, having a good team spirit and having strong sickness management processes can help.
Our conclusion then, it’s good to have an engaged workforce, in fact it’s great. Just remember to challenge people when they are unwell to look after themselves and offer support to meet any looming deadlines.