Are You Rewarding Being Present More than Being Productive?

Quiet quitting, act your wage, quiet firing--all of these are buzzwords about what employees are actually doing all day.

The old school 9-5 office schedule rewarded being present first and foremost, and in the shift to hybrid and remote work, employers are missing the point: is the work getting done?

What is Presenteeism?

Presenteeism is being present, period, whether it's setting your status to "online" and ordering a mouse jiggler or spreading work out so you have to stay late.

You might see this with an employee answering emails in the middle of the night, or showing up to the office sick (yuck), to show they're dedicated.

But is it important to be present? Or to actually get work done?

Presenteeism is often a symptom of a bad office culture.

Why Presenteeism is a Problem

Presenteeism can appear when employees are made to feel guilty for not finishing enough tasks, or when they're swamped under too much work.

Employees might also get shamed for taking sick days or dealing with personal matters, which leads to this problem.

It can also speak to a workplace with poor boundaries, where burnout is a badge of honor and work/life balance is a punchline.

How Can I Measure Productivity?

Before you can measure if your employees are productive, you need to know what they're actually supposed to be doing.

This shouldn't be so tricky--but in many jobs, managers don't have a full grasp of what's actually happening in their office day to day.

It's easier to ask, "Were you at your desk?" than it is to set up metrics to track success and failure.

Tech Tools  to Help

There are lots of tech tools that will let you track the work being done, rather than hours spent in a chair.

OKR software will help you make sure you're focused on top level goals.

The real reward? You don't have to sit in your chair all day making sure your employee doesn't leave five minutes early. You might even get to leave early too.