Analyses the links between mental health and two alternative workplace productivity measures– absenteeism and presenteeism.
Much of the economic cost of mental illness stems from workers’ reduced productivity. We analyze the links between mental health and two alternative workplace productivity measures – absenteeism and presenteeism (i.e., lower productivity while attending work) – explicitly allowing these relationships to be moderated by the nature of the job itself. We find that absence rates are approximatel y five percent higher among wo rkers who report being in poor mental health. Moreover, job conditions are re lated to both presenteeism and absenteeism even after accounting for worker s’ self-reported mental hea lth status. Job conditions are relatively more important in understanding diminish ed productivity at work if workers are in good rather than poor mental health. The effect s of job complexity a nd stress on absenteeism do not depend on workers’ mental health, while job security and control moderate the effect of mental illness on absence days.