Is presenteeism the scourge of the century ?
Having become, like Voldemort, the evil which must not be named, presenteeism is a plague of particular force in France – and one that unfortunately often ends with accommodating and even acclimatizing to its presence.
You can’t stop yawning, so why do you still feel intense pressure, like a sea captain on hostile waters, not to abandon your post?Why do you feel your colleagues shooting daggers with their eyes when you finally pack up your things to leave? You’re afflicted with presenteeism. Whether it’s driven by social pressure or guilt because you’re worried about your career and your future prospects with the company, or because you have big responsibilities, you suffer from feeling a strong obligation to stay late at the office, but for the wrong reasons… concern about your image and pseudo-leadership.
If this scourge is particular to France, what can we learn from our neighbors? Denmark, home to the happiest people on Earth according to the 2016 World Happiness Report (where France ranked 32nd), proves every day that workplace happiness is possible and that workdays can end at 17h. Lingering at the office is thought to display a chronic lack of organization and is therefore sternly frowned upon by leadership and peers. The costs of presenteeism are extremely high, not just in terms of employee health but company health as well. A true cultural and managerial revolution is what is required to solve this problem. So, to you who is reading this, if you are still sitting at your desk at 20h even though you’ve long since used up the last of your concentration… what are you waiting for? Grab your coat and go!