Presenteeism – being physically present at work but mentally absent and unproductive due to illness, injury, stress or burnout – now comes at a greater economic cost than absenteeism, says professor Renata Schoeman, head of the MBA in Healthcare Leadership program at Stellenbosch Business School.
During the Covid-19 pandemic this issue not only became more prevalent, but moved into the digital and virtual realm as more employees worked from home.
Now, companies will need to review their existing policies around leave and mental health to account for this, Schoeman said.
Employees who show up and attempt to work despite their poor mental health cost South Africa almost seven times as much in lost productivity as employees who are absent due to depression, she said.
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