June 21st is the UK’s longest day. It’s a great excuse for an extra long BBQ or spending time outdoors with friends and family. But for some people, the longest day isn’t just one day. Every day they’re at work feels like the longest day. A significant proportion of the UK workforce are unmotivated by their work, they’re simply just ‘getting through the day’, and are not truly engaged.  

This behaviour is known as Presenteeism. According to a 2018 Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) report, presenteeism has trebled since 2010, with a significant negative impact on workplace productivity. Presenteeism used to be a term that just applied to people dragging themselves into work when they were ill. Now the term also applies to employees being unmotivated and going through the motions on a daily basis.

The CIPD report found 72% of organisations had experienced presenteeism in the 12 months prior to the report. That means almost three quarters of companies with employees not fulfilling their potential, who were less productive, and generally not happy campers.

There are many reasons for presenteeism. It could be employees feeling stressed because their work is impacting their private lives, or that they are scared to ask for time off to deal with a domestic issue, or worry that other employees will take over if they’re not at work.

How to turn long days into short and sweet ones

Embrace Flexible Working

According to the CIPD, 57% of employees say they’d stay in their job longer if they saw more effort put into looking after their wellbeing. So it makes sense to consider the whole person and cover who they are both inside and outside the workplace. One of the ways of doing this is to offer flexible working.

Flexible working really helps improve employee wellness because it dramatically reduces stress. By having open and clear flexible working policies you’ll turn employees who are chasing their tails looking after children, ageing parents, or trying to train for the marathon into more relaxed, productive people. Flexible working policies that are truly ingrained in your culture are known to attract top talent and also prevent people leaving.

Walk the walk

The CIPD report found that 39% of young professionals believe working from home could damage their career prospects. With this in mind, internal comms are vital to getting the message out that your company encourages people to work flexibly, not just in the hours put in but in the space they work. Make sure they know they have a legal right to request flexible working, thanks to the 2014 government legislation.

Post a survey

Use anonymous staff surveys to discover the root of presenteeism. Ask staff if they’re feeling overwhelmed, undervalued, stressed, lacking in motivation.

Conducting surveys and communicating your flexible working policies clearly are great ways to improve employee engagement. Or better yet, contact Avvio Reply and we’ll help you discover more about your people and how to improve your employee engagement in all areas. So every day feels short and sweet.

DOES EVERYDAY FEEL LIKE THE LONGEST DAY FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES?