Melbourne, Mar 27 (ANI): Presenteeism is emerging as the new workplace scourge, which is eating away at company profits and costing Australian businesses almost 6 billion dollars in lost productivity each year, according to a new study.
The opposite of absenteeism, when workers take sick days for being unwell, presenteeism is when employees continue turning up to work but their productivity and effectiveness is reduced.
Depression, anxiety and other psychological stresses have been found to be the biggest contributors to lost productivity among workers.
In the study, researchers monitored the work productivity of more than 60,000 full-time employees for chronic and acute physical and mental health conditions.
Out of 20 different physical and mental conditions, the research found mental health was the single largest contributor to lost productivity, followed by musculoskeletal problems.
University of Queensland professor of psychiatry and population health Harvey Whiteford, who helped conduct the research, said 9.6 per cent of employees had moderate psychological distress and a further 4.5 per cent had high psychological distress.
He said that the more severe the worker”s mental health issue, the more productivity was lost.
He added that companies should extend their physical examinations of workers to cover mental health as well, and counsel any workers in need to seek professional help.
“A significant number of people respond to short-term face-to-face or telephone counselling when you get to them early,” the Courier Mail quoted him as saying.
The study has been published in the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. (ANI)