In part one of a special two-part episode of the HRchat Podcast with guest Professor Sir Cary Cooper, we focus on measuring presenteeism, optimizing productivity, and fostering a culture of employee health and wellbeing.

Professor Sir Cary Cooper, CBE is the 50th Anniversary Prof of Organizational Psychology & Health at Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, the author and editor of numerous books, and is one of Britain’s most quoted business experts.

Listen to the HRchat Podcast

Questions in part one include:

  • Rethinking presenteeism to achieve higher productivity: “Our latest research at Robertson Cooper has turned conventional wisdom about presenteeism on its head. We’ve identified that not all instances of working whilst unwell should be classified as ‘presenteeism,’ paving the way for a new era in how organizations manage employee health, wellbeing, and productivity.” What we’ve discovered: There are three distinct types of working whilst unwell, only one of which should be labeled presenteeism and eradicated from businesses.” Tell us about the ‘correct’ definition of presenteeism.
  • The other two types, “Functional Presence” (Pragmatic and Therapeutic), aren’t always a cost to businesses and may actually be desirable for both the organization and the employee.” Tell us more about these types.
  • What impact can presenteeism have on colleagues?
  • Recent market reports suggest employees will be staying in their jobs for longer in 2024. How can employers minimize the chances of presenteeism and, instead, help to develop and grow the development of their people?


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