Employers Experience Slow-Hire Fatigue while Presenteeism Skyrockets

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ComPsych logoThe latest StressPulse survey by ComPsych Corp. has shown that presenteeism, the phenomenon of employees working while sick leading to decreased productivity, has risen to 22 percent. Other findings uncovered in the survey include:

• Workers who find being present at work their top priority (presenteeism) rose 3 percentage points in 2012 to 22 percent.

• Over one-third of employees lost at least one hour per day at work due to stress.

• Stress and personal issues account for the most number of absences, outpacing both personal illness and caregiving for the number one reason for missing work.

“As employers continue to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to hiring, people who currently have jobs – many of whom have taken on extra work – are starting to show signs of prolonged stress,” said Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, chairman and CEO of ComPsych. “This can result in burnout and reduced performance.”

“Employers should communicate clearly to workers about staffing expectations, and should support employees with resources to reduce stress and balance work-life issues,” he added.

Stress levels were actually found to have fallen over-the-year with 63 percent of workers reporting to having high levels of stress with extreme fatigue and feeling out of control, down 3 points from 2011. Having constant but manageable stress was reported by 32 percent of respondents, up 2 percent over the year and 5 percent reported having low stress levels, up 1 percent. The most common cause of stress reported by respondents was their daily workload, registering 39 percent of the vote. The remainder of the list included people issues (34 percent), balancing work and personal life (18 percent), and lack of job security (9 percent).


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Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.