The dramatic increase in work from home due to the coronavirus is likely to become a permanent feature, at least for many companiesfor part of the week. But while that bringsmany advantagesFor both employees and employers, this is likely to result in more people working sick. This is not good for people’s health in the long run and requires companies to actively encourage their employees to take time off when needed.
Working from home enables employees to balance caregiving responsibilities and other non-work obligations with job demands, as well as reducing commute times and reducing work-related stress. Business benefits include higher productivity and greater flexibility for employees to meet the employer’s needs, such as: B. Conference calls outside of main office hours.
People who work from home also take fewer sick days as an office worker. Many appreciate the ability to work from home while sick as it allows them to manage their workload while avoiding the stress of commuting to the office or working a full day. It also prevents workers from spreading contagious diseases to their colleagues – something everyone is talking about right now.
So working when you are ill is not always bad. Known as disease presentation, the decision is influenced by a number of factors. These include your company’s sick leave policies (and how they are applied by managers), the financial pressures of the employee, whether it’s paid sick leave, heavy workload, tight deadlines, and job insecurity.
If voluntary, disease presentation can have other positive benefits. If employees are chronically or long-term sick and want to work despite being sick, supportive work arrangements such as flexible working or homework can help them stay at work. This also enables companies Keep staff.
A series of longitudinal studies, in which researchers collected data from the same workers over a period of time, found that working when sick can increase the risk of poor health in the future. It also increased the risk of workers taking more time off 18 months later due to illness.
Disease presentation also has ramifications for your mental health. research shows, that If someone had worked sick in the past three months, their mental wellbeing was impaired. People also felt down, irritable, or found it difficult to make decisions.
For some, this took a while two more months. Meanwhile, other research has found Working when sick increased the risk of depression two years later, even though the workers were not depressed at the first measurement point.
Role of business
As a rule, companies want to keep employee absences due to illness as low as possible. Presentationalism is often rated positively when the alternative is sick leave, as the employees do some work and their role does not have to be assumed by employees.
However, while investigating this issue, I also found that sick leave is not a decision that people take lightly. In a study I worked on, 60% of participants had worked uncomfortably in the previous 12 months. People reported working under a variety of health conditions, some of which were so serious that managers had to step in and send people home.
Working at home makes it difficult for managers to tell when employees are sick. Therefore, they are less likely to tell people to be on sick leave. To keep sick employees from working, organizations need to actively encourage employees to take time to work.
Similarly, a recent study found that workers diagnosed with acute respiratory illness or influenza during the 2017-18 influenza season were more likely to continue working if they can work from home than workers without the option. Perhaps unsurprisingly, workers who have been given paid leave worked fewer days during the illness.
A key aspect of research into disease representativity is that the severity of the disease is often unknown. In many cases, employees can still work with minor illnesses such as colds that do not affect their health in the long term. However, workers and employers need to be aware of the potential health risks arising from managing health conditions that require rest and time to recover.
Firms that focus on controlling the absence of illness in the short term can promote illness presentation in the longer term and risk prolonging illness or worsening a state of health. Just because we can work from home when we’re sick doesn’t always mean we should – and that includes logging into our laptop or checking emails from bedside.