Too sick or not too sick?: The importance of stress and satisfaction with supervisor support on the prevalence of sickness presenteeism

In a sample of 3,274 full-time Belgian workers, this article found that 62% of workers went to work while being sick (sickness presenteeism) at least once over the past 12 months. Of all workers who did not show sickness presenteeism themselves, another 6 out of 10 saw or heard about sickness presenteeism in their own organization. This turns sickness presenteeism into an important physical and mental health risk, demanding new policy measures from organizational and governmental decision makers. Women were more likely to report sickness presenteeism than men and junior workers were more prone to sickness presenteeism than senior workers. Education did not explain the choice for sickness presenteeism. Satisfaction with the supervisor had a direct negative effect on sickness presenteeism. Finally, indirect effects were found between satisfaction with the supervisor and sickness presenteeism via the prevalence of stress. While previous studies showed that good supervisor support could make sick workers more productive when they show up at work anyway, this study shows that good supervisor support lowers the probability that sick workers turn up at work at all.

Source : International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, Mars 2019. 10.1080/10803548.2019.1570720

 

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