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Presence, an unnamed work sickness

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Companies are facing an increasing rate of absenteeism linked to a sense of deteriorating working conditions. If it’s not easy to make up for the absence of staff, it’s much more complicated to make up for the absence of staff…without being there. Close-up of damage caused by presence, which is a silent and invisible disease.

Semantic transformation speaks volumes

Strictly speaking, attendance refers to excessive attendance: for example, coming to work when you don’t have to or working long hours. The French have always been among the best in this field, considering that participation and performance (and thus progress) are linked. time attendance. To be seen, you must first be seen. Today, the term present refers to the behavior of employees who are at work, whether in the company or remotely, but who are not working, that is, who do something else or not very productive, because the head is somewhere else, because there is no longer a heart.

Whatever terms are chosen to evoke this reality, “apathy,” “withdrawal” or “inhibition” in work-side sociology,” Quiet smoking cessation “side buzzword, or even” The contemplative present »For the elders from the back of the class, the semantic shift turns out to be the most interesting in that it bears witness to the change of the times: the word itself, which yesterday denoted a form of over-commitment and over-investment (strategic or unconscious), is appreciated by Organizations and managers, he now designates a paradoxical existence that conceals disengagement, a loss of meaning and focus, a form of inner surrender that involves only the person concerned.

Causes and consequences

A recent study reported a absenteeism growing in France, directly related to deteriorating mental health employees. Among the reasons for downtime, fatigue (32%) and psychological risks (17%) now overtake, in aggregate, traditional “musculoskeletal disorders” (19%) and even common illnesses (39%). However, while absenteeism rate is easily measurable, absenteeism rate is much more difficult to measure. However, these are the same causes (with the exception of MSD and illnesses) that affect employees who are often absent and who are at work without actually being there. Basically, absenteeism and absenteeism are two different behaviors when faced with the same problem of occupational distress.

Only here: the consequences for the physical and mental health of an employee who keeps coming but is no longer productive, but also for his co-workers (workload, domino effect, dampening of motivation, etc.) and for the company in terms of cost and overall performance are more harmful than those of absenteeism . Like all underground, unadvertised, attendance is very difficult to manage. An absent employee means, for the company, the adaptation of the organization; For an employee, time off, care, hindsight. In the event of attendance, it is indeed necessary to be able to identify the problem, to realize the impact of this contradictory presence, and to discuss it with the employee concerned who may not be aware of it himself.

From over-commitment to inner surrender

A few years ago, we were trying to estimate the hidden cost of existing presence and the bill turned out to be quite steep: between 13 and 25 billion euros per yearwhich is a cost that companies bear entirely, while the cost of absenteeism is partially borne by health insurance. It will be interesting to start the math again in 2023, especially after the great upheavals we have seen in the organization of work (wasn’t loss of remote productivity the big fear of employers?), a time when the issue of employee welfare is no longer incidental and where everyone wants to find meaning. for what they do.

direction ” Pay your wages » It appears furthermore as the visible (supposed?) part of this iceberg which is presence… One does not, however, merely work for a paycheck; It’s not just about being present. And if companies have long valued over-commitment and thus encouraged employees to work more at the expense of their physical or mental health, now they have to fight attendance through self-motivation. Their struggle is to reconcile existence and commitment through beautiful values, vision, tasks that have meaning (and thus give meaning), cohesion, connection, in short, everything that makes work not just work and paying time to attend.

Forum Distributed by: Jerome Crist, Co-Founder CEO of Hollivia

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