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Why are we unable to switch off from work even when sick?

Ever taken the day off sick, but felt unable stop checking your emails? You're not alone. Welcome to the world of the STOIC.

Health insurer Ellipse, together with occupational stress expert Professor Cary Cooper, have recently released findings suggesting that the British are rapidly becoming a nation of STOICs (sick though often inbox checking), where we feel we have to be 'always on' when it comes to work. The twin pressures of modern technology and job insecurity are making it increasingly hard for employees to switch off from work, leading to a pointless 'presenteeism' where they are neither working productively nor convalescing effectively.

The research also suggests that employers are increasingly failing to deal with the full risks that employee absence and ill health bring to the workplace. While some employers may be reluctant to address the real reasons behind presenteeism, persistent absence and other attendance issues for fear of having to address deeper-seated problems, the report stresses the long-term risks to productivity and urges employers to take action sooner rather than later.

Acas works with employers to develop practical solutions for dealing with stress and managing its effects on productivity, morale and absence levels. In addition to guidance on identifying, addressing and minimising stress in the workplace, Acas offer individually tailored training courses to help employers manage stress in the workplace, as well practical training in absence management and creating an attendance culture.

Visit the Acas training and business solutions area for more information.

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