The Real 800-Pound Gorilla of Presenteeism

Harvard Business Review

In October, 2004, Harvard Business Review published an article entitled "Presenteeism: At Work — But Out of It." But what he missed was the real 800-lb gorilla of presenteeism: untreated sleep-disordered breathing.

The sun never sets on the English Empire, nor does it set on yours.


Presenteeism. ” Service, clerical and other office occupations showed a particularly high degree of presenteeism. The biggest cause of presenteeism, however, was having too much to do and not enough time to do it.

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New Research: Flexibility Versus Face Time

Harvard Business Review

ended the company''s telecommuting option for employees early in 2013, and Best Buy followed suit a week later by terminating its groundbreaking, decade-old flexible work program, Results Only Work Environment (ROWE), they joined a growing trend among organizations trading flexibility for face time.

Look Who's Distracted Now

Harvard Business Review

The oxymoronic concept of being physically present but mentally absent on the job has been dubbed "presenteeism." When acclaimed hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones revealed his opinion that women become much less effective as stock traders or investors once they have children, he was, in a sense, suggesting that the distraction of motherhood—a distinctly feminine condition—exceeds that of other attention-siphoning activities.

In Defense of Corporate Wellness Programs

Harvard Business Review

Today, nearly 80% of people who work for organizations with 50 or more employees have access to a wellness program, according to a 2013 RAND study commissioned by the U.S. They attributed those losses both to absenteeism and to “presenteeism,” when employees come to work too unwell to do their jobs. A recent HBR blog proposed to deliver “ The Cure for the Common Corporate Wellness Program.”