Presenteeism at work. Do you just have to be there?

How many times have you gone in to work when you’re really not up to it?

It’s called ‘presenteeism’ and it’s on the rise.

A recent study has found that more than 40% of employees said their work was being affected by health problems – a figure that’s risen by a third over the last five years.

It found that people are ignoring both mental and physical health problems to attend work.

There could be different reasons for this. Maybe they don’t want to admit to themselves that there is a problem; or maybe there is pressure from the company – the message that absence is not an option.

Depression, panic attacks and anxiety – they don’t show like a broken leg. But they can be even more crippling to a human life.

Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

The Mind Clinic has some experience here. It goes into forward-thinking organisations to offer one-to-one support for staff who need to talk. We’ve had over 4000 such sessions over the past few years.

Though the work place can be tough, it’s not always the cause of people’s problems; these tend to be more deep-rooted. But with the right leadership, the work place can be the place where people begin to address the issues.

And it’s not just the right thing for organisations to do; it may even pay them.

“It really does make good business sense,” says Ms Trowell, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Dixon’s Carphone.

“It’s important that we have happy, healthy and engaged workforce.’