Understanding Chronic Absenteeism and Presenteeism in the Workplace

Published On:
November 08, 2022
Authored By:
APQC
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Employees who chronically fail to show up for work (a condition known as absenteeism), or those who come to work sick, distracted, or disengaged (presenteeism), cost organizations billions of dollars in lost productivity. When employees are chronically absent or come to work disengaged, organizations tend to assume it is the employees’ problem to address. However, the reality is more complex. While employee behaviors are certainly one part of the equation, broader challenges related to organizational culture are often some of the biggest drivers of absenteeism and presenteeism.

In this article, APQC draws from leading studies and researchers in order to:

  • define absenteeism and presenteeism in more detail;
  • explain why these behaviors are important for organizations to understand; and
  • provide tips and strategies for addressing absenteeism and presenteeism.