Presentismo laboral

If there are employees in your company who are at work but it’s really ‘like they’re not’ because they’re sitting in their jobs but they’re not fulfilling their duties… your company suffers from what’s known as ‘work presentism’ even if you don’t know it or haven’t perceived it. This is one of the most common and important problems that employers face today, and that must be tried to combat.

You may never have heard of it, but job presentism directly affects a company’sproductivity and performance, which can jeopardize its viability if no solution is put before it’s too late.

And yes, today, it is much more present in the works than it seems…

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What is job presentism?

Also known
as absenteeism,
job presentism occurs when an employee goes to his or her job, but spends time on tasks outside his/her duties,such as surfing the internet, visiting social media, talking on the phone, taking more time off than allowed,… Etc. in short, stop doing your job to devote your working time to other things.

This situation is more common than we think of Spanish companies, especially because of the fear that workers have of losing their jobs,which leads them to endure in their jobs, even if they are not motivated or feel identified with what they do.

Economic crises enhance cases of job presentism in companies.

Different studies show that Spanish companies have 10% working presentism,which is estimated at an expense of more than 100 million euros, given the low productivity of employees and the decrease in the company’s performance.

Consequences of job presentism for businesses

Work presentism directly affects different areas of a company:

  • Direct decline in worker productivity and organization in general.
  • Employee health problems, due to excessive boredom and fatigue.
  • Increased disease transmission, as many workers decide to go to their jobs even when they are not in good health.Presentismo laboral

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Causes that drive job presentism

Most companies follow a model based on the industrial organization of the twentieth century, which means too long days, little time flexibility, too strict structures,… etc. All this means that gradually the company begins to suffer from occupational presentism,highlighting the following factors above the rest:

  • Fear of dismissal is the main cause of job presentism, causing employees to come to their jobs even if they are not motivated or in adequate health conditions.
  • Fear of the worker not fulfilling the assigned roles.
  • Excessive workload.
  • Work longer than stipulated.
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Little communication between employees and managers.
  • Not knowing the goals or goals to achieve.
  • Unreal goals virtually impossible to achieve.
  • Lack of supervision.
  • Situations of work bullying.
  • Complicated personal situations.

How to avoid job presentism in your company?

Once we are aware of its presence, it is important to take steps to avoid job presentism in yourcompany, so here are some of the most effective:

1. Time flexibility

One of the keys to ending presentism in companies is to enhance time flexibility,as this way workers will have it easier to reconcile their personal life with the professional one.

This protects the worker, who will have the feeling that the company cares about him,which will allow him to improve his productivity, increase his performance and be more identified with the company.

2. Knowing the needs of workers

To prevent presentism it is necessary to know the needs of the workers,since in this way we will be able to find the right balance between the interests of the company and the employees, which will help their professional and personal development.

3. Telework

Applying telework can also help increase worker motivationby allowing them to perform their duties from home or anywhere, without being required to go to their job.

4. Restrict internet and mobile phone usage

Since one of the main causes of presentism at work is excessive use of the Internet and mobile phone by employees, it is recommended that restrict access to some websites and/or social networks, and limit the use of mobile phones and new technologies in general; encouraging responsible use of all these tools.

Presentismo laboral


Job presentism is one of the main problems that a company must fight against, as it results in a significant lack of productivity and performance that could jeopardize the viability of an organization. Putting solutions on time can help us and our workers.