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Presenteeism in academic employees - the role of occupational and individual factors

Wray, Siobhan and Kinman, Gail (2018) Presenteeism in academic employees - the role of occupational and individual factors. Occupational Medicine.

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Abstract

Background: There is growing evidence that presenteeism can be damaging for individuals

and organisations. It is therefore important to identify the prevalence of working while sick in
different working environments and the factors that contribute to such behaviour.

Aims: To examine the prevalence of self-reported presenteeism in academic staff working in UK
universities and colleges and the extent to which job demands, control, support and work engagement
are risk factors.

Methods: Scales from the Health and Safety Executive Management Standards Indicator Tool were used
to measure job demands, control and support from managers and co-workers. Work engagement was
assessed using a validated measure and the frequency of self-reported presenteeism was measured.
The effects of demands, control, support and engagement on presenteeism were examined with ordinal
regression analysis.

Results: The study sample comprised 6,874 people working in academic roles in UK colleges and
universities (59% female). Most respondents (88%) reported working while sick at least sometimes.
The risk factors for presenteeism were job demands, control, support from managers and work
engagement.

Conclusions: The findings of this study indicate that presenteeism is commonplace in UK colleges
and universities. Some of the features of the job that might encourage employees to work while sick
were highlighted, whereas engagement in work was an additional risk factor.

Key words: presenteeism, job demands, support, control, work engagement

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Occupational Medicine following peer review. The version of record is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/occmed/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/occmed/kqx191/
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqx191
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF636 Applied psychology
School/Department: York Business School
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/2744

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