Monday morning will not be easy for a lot of people. Even if your favorite team wins on Sunday night. A lot of people will get up Monday, go through the motions, and head straight into a workplace issue called presenteeism. Presenteeism is that state of being where you show up at work, but you know you’re not all there. You may be tired and have slow reflexes, you’re feeling grouchy for no good reason, distracted and unfocused, you may even feel a little bit sick. It’s not good for you. It’s not good for your colleagues. And it’s not good for business.
This isn’t just an issue the day after a big game. Fatigue at work can have real consequences in terms of health, safety, and long-term absence. In a study we did last year, 67% of organizations said that they’d experienced productivity and quality issues due to employee fatigue. Even driving to work becomes more dangerous. Driving drowsy has been shown to be as dangerous as driving drunk. So how do we combat presenteeism?
- Reset expectations – this is for the short term, day after Super Bowl kind of presenteeism. It doesn’t mean give everyone Monday off. But, if you live in Boston or Philadelphia, don’t plan on scheduling a mission-critical meeting Monday morning.
- Model behaviors – no matter what we say, people pay attention to what we do. If leaders are fostering a culture of “sleep is for the weak”, no matter what they say they may be pushing people towards fatigue, burnout, and the dangers of showing up at less than a hundred percent.
- Get to the root of the problem – typically, if you’re showing up for work on a regular basis tired and distracted, there is a much bigger root cause than a football game. This is one of the reasons for the rise of employer-provided services like health and wellness benefits, stress management initiatives, and financial education resources. By offering people options, a manager can steer an employee struggling with presenteeism toward solutions without having to ask the employee to reveal personal information.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I live in Boston, and I grew up less than a mile from the University of Michigan football stadium. So, you know who I’m rooting for this weekend. But I guarantee you, everyone on both teams will show up giving hundred percent. And so should we.