Presenteeism in academic employees—occupational and individual factors

Kinman, G. and S. Wray (2018). "Presenteeism in academic employees—occupational and individual factors." Occupational Medicine 68(1): 46-50.

There is growing evidence that presenteeism can be damaging for individuals and organizations. It is, therefore, important to identify the prevalence of working while sick in different working environments and the factors that contribute to such behaviour. To examine the prevalence of self-reported presenteeism in academic staff working in UK universities and colleges and the extent to which job demands, control, support and work engagement are risk factors.Scales from the Health and Safety Executive Management Standards Indicator Tool were used to measure job demands, control and support from managers and co-workers. Work engagement was assessed using a validated measure and the frequency of self-reported presenteeism was measured. The effects of demands, control, support and engagement on presenteeism were examined with ordinal regression analysis.The study sample comprised 6874 people working in academic roles in UK colleges and universities (59% female). Most respondents (88%) reported working while sick at least sometimes. The risk factors for presenteeism were job demands, control, support from managers and work engagement.The findings of this study indicate that presenteeism is commonplace in UK colleges and universities. Some of the features of the job that might encourage employees to work while sick are highlighted, whereas engagement in work was an additional risk factor.

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