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UK employees 'using presenteeism to get ahead'

Published: Thursday, 24 April 2008   Category: Life after graduation

New research has indicated that a growing cult of presenteeism in the workplace is having a negative effect on Britain's offices.

A survey commissioned by Right Corecare revealed that 40 per cent of workers stay in their office unnecessarily after working hours, with one in five claiming overtime is expected.

This is not necessarily productive, however, with 24 per cent saying they check social network accounts and browse online during work time and 12 per cent admitting to arriving early when they have little work to do.

Adrienne Heeley, director of Work/Life Services at Right Corecare, said many employees see this as the only way to get ahead, or to simply make them look better in the face of an economic slowdown which is leading to fears over jobs.

"But this 'jacket-on-the-back-of-the-chair' approach is counterproductive - it has a detrimental effect on the employee's well-being, the productivity of the business and the UK's economy as a whole," Ms Heeley said.

Employees should be rewarded for "skills and ability", rather than "merely endurance", she concluded.

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