The PLACEmaking blog

Our response to BBC piece: “The rise of ‘presenteeism’ in the workplace”


Alison White


April 17, 2019
This is an interesting piece that highlights the potentially damaging impact a rigid and unsupportive workplace can have on the health and wellbeing of its employees.

Original article here: BBC News: The rise of ‘presenteeism’ in the workplace’

A recent study by Vitality found that people are putting aside both mental and physical health problems to attend work. This demonstrates that employees are feeling pressured to prioritise their jobs above their wellbeing, while stressing the importance of a workplace that provides appropriate levels of support and flexibility through its culture, design, and technology provision.

Smart working

Businesses who adopt modern working practices made possible by advances in mobile technologies, new contractual arrangements, more effective workplace environments and improved support service provision are businesses who embrace smart working. Smart working enables us to have more choice of where and when to work, and its effective implementation contributes to the wellbeing of staff by providing flexibility, fluidity, and more power to self-manage tasks and workload to fit in with the other aspects of life.

A poor quality working environment, inferior technology and, of course, indifferent management attitudes to wellbeing, are frequently reported as reasons why younger people in particular resign shortly after starting a new job.

They are baffled by their senior colleagues’ acceptance of what they consider to be outdated practices, a lack of flexibility, poor quality working environments and significantly worse technology than they have at home. They have no patience with or loyalty to organisations that refuse to modernise and adapt to changes in ways of working and changes of social expectations.

And with health and wellbeing a more important consideration for the latest generation of employees than any of those before them, organisations who ignore the opportunities – and the need – to provide their staff with the means and power to manage their own time and resources effectively will be struggling to attract new talent with the latest skills required to advance their businesses.

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