• Presenteeism and Health: Exploring the Link Between Employee Productivity and Common Physical and Mental Health Issues

      Attridge, Mark; Rosenberg, Tomas; Otis, Jim; Lynch, Wendy, Ph.D.; Riedel, John, M.P.H., M.B.A.; Sullivan, Sean, J.D. (Institute for Health and Productivity Management, 2001-03)
      This study explored how health issues impact self-reported employee productivity. Survey and clinical archival data were obtained from national samples of employees who had voluntarily used a telephonic nurse information service (N = 4,789) or a telephonic behavioral counseling service (N = 1,050; both services by Optum from year 1999). A typical employer can have about 1 in every 10 employees use these kinds of health services in a one-year period. The results indicated that employees were about 30 percent less productive when first calling for assistance with health issues than after they had used the services. The results of regression analyses showed that productivity level at the time of first use of the health service could not be predicted to a useful extent from available demographic and clinical measures. The majority of employees reported positive health improvements (daily activities, stress, and overall well-being) after using the services. These health improvements were positively correlated with self-reported productivity gains. The bottom-line impact for employers is that these kinds of health issues are common and they involve significantly lower productivity during the health episode.