anonymous tech woman

Yet another woman in technology blog. I'm actually a developer who uses a variety of Java and database technologies on a variety of platforms.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Presenteeism is defined as workers working excessive hours due to job insecurity or coming into work when sick or injured. Both these methods of working do not increase productivity. In fact the UK has some of the worses productivity in the Western World even though we work some of the longest hours.

I currently work in a team that has this problem and the new manager has noticed this quite quickly.

For example one Friday I was actually working away at something quite late and my colleagues refused to leave before I did. They actually hadn't worked out that me working an extra hour on a Friday evening is not excessive simply because I had left earlier on another day. However they simply wouldn't leave and I knew they were not doing anything productive.

Another example of this problem is when 2 of my colleagues were sick with flu. The first one refused to go off home even though he had a headache, and was sweating and shivering alternately for 2 days. The second one went to A & E (!!!) and then came into work. ( I couldn't stop laughing about him going to A & E all day as he would have waited the entire morning and then been told that he had the flu and he should take some paracetamol.)

Unfortunately companies that have a presenteeism problem are not for me unless they are paying me a lot. Then I will sit there with my books and pretend I'm learning something for the system resolving to get out of the company within 6 months.


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