How Sickness Reduces Productivity

Sickness contributes a lot to less productivity in the workplace. According to a National Health Survey, influenza alone causes more than 200 million days of reduced productivity and 75 million days of sickness absenteeism. This is why it's important to promote health in the workplace. Let's look at how sickness reduces productivity.

Sickness Affects Other Employees

Sickness creates the possibility of lower customer satisfaction and a reduction in motivation and morale of the other staff. Also, when one worker is sick, the other workers will have to handle the extra load. For example, if someone offering janitorial services falls sick, other non-janitors can end up taking up some of the duties. This can potentially lead to overwork and stress, which may lead to further sickness absences. This essentially means that sickness has the potential to lead to more sickness.


This is the most obvious way that sickness affects productivity. When an employee is sick, they will need to take some time off to deal with their health issues. The impact varies depending on what role the employee serves in a particular company. Sickness absenteeism is detrimental especially when the absent individual is a high-tenure or blue-collar worker. However, this doesn't mean that the absence of janitorial services will not impact productivity. Productivity will suffer whenever the work of the absent employees is highly interconnected with the work of other members of a team.

Still Being Present

It's not always that employees take time off work when they are sick. A Commonwealth Fund study shows that older workers don't usually take time off from work when they are ill. This is also a trend with workers who fall sick without available sick days. This results in a situation where people still come to work even if they are not feeling well. While this might seem like a good thing, it can actually harm both the worker and the employee more than just taking time off work.

Workers who remain on the job even if they are sick will obviously have a reduced level of performance. For instance, someone providing janitorial services may not clean as often as they should. Being at work while one is sick or mentally unwell is known as presenteeism. Presenteeism costs US firms about $226 billion a year. In Japan, the cost of presenteeism is around $3,055 per employee each year. This is twice the cost of absenteeism.

These are some of the ways sickness affects productivity in the workplace. Sickness absence also has numerous other negative effects. For instance, there will be fewer workers, so the burden increases on the present ones. Apart from that, the company will have to find and train a temporary cover who will not be as efficient as someone who has been on the job for a while. Contact us today for more information on our janitorial services.