In the office or out? That’s the big question

Our work culture is changing, or at least the good companies with modern philosophies are trying to make a change in the 9-5 regime we created. Employers are changing up the status quo, allowing their employees freedom of choice when it comes to their contact hours during the day. Remote work is no longer taboo and ‘the sick day’ has become a seldom occurrence for many of these forward thinking companies.

employees in office

Absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace is more than just a filling the seats kind of attitude, it’s all about mind, body and soul – and no, this is not a philosophical thing, it’s quite a logical understanding of productivity in the workplace. Whether you’re sat at your office desk, on a sofa in a cafe or even in bed and your laptop’s running; it’s not very much about your location, but more about the attitude and effort you put into your work.

Your body simply points out the location of where you intend to get your work done and will inspire your creativity, organisation and efficiency, your soul is signified by your attitude; if you’re sat at your office desk and would much rather be in your pijama bottoms at your home office desk, that’s pretty much all that’s going to occupy your time. Your mind is your effort; the work ethic that drives you to work more, to get stuff done and to move forward in the day – progress and reward at its finest.

Employers who frown upon remote jobs, working from home opportunities or otherwise flexible jobs lose out on the trust and responsibility it takes to shape a professional character. It also causes employees to get even more stressed out than they’re meant to causing them to milk that proverbial cow also known as ‘calling in sick’. One of the most costly effects of an employee on its employer. But what do the two terms, absenteeism and presenteeism actually mean?


Absenteeism is basically an employers worst nightmare. And it’s not too flattering to the employee either – ultimately nobody wins.

For the employer

Whenever an employee calls in sick, books time off or even has a family emergency; the company, in some way, falls short of the business required for the day, week or how ever long or short the absence might be. Whenever an employee on a contract basis is away from his or her desk, money is being lost for the company due to missing work and payment for absence. A strange practice in business owners eyes that never rubs them the right way.

For the employee

No matter your working situation, it is always difficult to ask your boss, or even tell your boss (if that’s the method you adopt), that you need some time away from the office. There’s a fear that they will decline your request, come up with some excuse that revs you up and alters your attitude towards your job or even urge you to change your leave to a time that suits them and ask you to make up for the ‘lost’ time with additional work prior and after your absence. Basically a nightmare for anyone who is not C level.

secretary clerk employee


Presenteeism is a nightmare for the employee and it pretty much bites the employer in the rear end at the end of the day too. Presenteeism is basically a ‘warming the seat’ practice that is more about marking yourself present than shining as an employee.

For the employer

When it comes to benchwarmers, dead weight or simply unmotivated employees; managers of every company across the globe are faced with a detrimental situation – what do you do with the non-workers? Well, it’s not an easy task, there are so many ways to work around this issue but more often than not the empathy shown in the work place is pretty low – there’s a great chance that people under your wing are suffering from stress, anxiety, mental illness, acute illnesses or serious health issues. Check in with your crew; there’s always something you can do, or at least listen and find the best solution.

For the employee

Sometimes, all you want from your employer is a little bit of understanding. It’s hard for you to get to work at 09:00 on the dot – your kids start school at 08:30 and there’s no one else to see them off. You’d be at your desk by 09:30 and ready to work, by 08:45 if you worked from home. The stress of your day troubles your mind, there’s a lot to handle in a day and sometimes your mind can’t process it all – you’re overworked and there’s no-one to share the load with. Calling in sick is your only escape – but it really shouldn’t be.


Flexibility is key. If your employees are not bound to that 9-5 mumbo jumbo, their day becomes a whole lot more playful, there’s so much time gained and your employees attitude is bound to improve! That 1 hour lost in traffic in the morning is replaced by an extra hour of sleep or a trip to the gym – added stimulants to give your team more power. Morning meetings can be done via Skype; they’re effective, shorter in duration since nobody wastes time (and cannot be late) and still pretty much in everyone’s comfort one. Lunch break can be opted for or against; taken at any time, schedule permitting and can be as long or as short as your employees desire.

The most important part of having employees is that they get their job done, done well, according to brief, abiding by deadline and with a surge of passion and fuel for the job at hand. It’s really pretty simple. That extra hour at the end of the day is just another buffer to be used for errands, extra work catch-up, exercise, personal time or even good old lazing about – you’ve got your work done for the day; you deserve it!


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