There are solutions to the problem of presenteeism, say Professor Dame Carol Black and Shaun Subel.

To increase productivity is a challenge for government, business and organisations, public and private. The latest figures show a less-than-healthy picture, with the UK economy losing an estimated £81 billion each year through ill health-related absence and presenteeism. However, productive solutions to presenteeism are possible

It is often poorly understood that having a workforce not only present at work, but performing at maximum capacity gives considerable gains in productivity. Employees not performing at their best are displaying ‘presenteeism’, which is a greater contributor to poor productivity than absence. Presenteeism has many causes, including poor mental health, poor organisational culture and, indeed, external causes which arise outside of the workplace.

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