Job demands, job resources, and behavior in times of sickness: An analysis across German nursing homes

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Abstract

Background:

The concept of presenteeism, that is, employees coming to work despite being sick, has recently received more attention in the literature. Presenteeism not only threatens employees' health but also substantially drains productivity and drives considerable costs. When they are sick, employees have the choice of whether to go to work or to stay at home. Therefore, determinants of (sickness) absenteeism and presenteeism should be examined simultaneously. Nursing homes are faced with a particularly high prevalence of both absenteeism and presenteeism and are therefore a relevant object of investigation.

Purpose:

The aim of our study is to analyze the effect of job demands and job resources on absenteeism, presenteeism, and the tendency to choose one behavior (being absent or being present in times of sickness) rather than the other over the last 12 months. To do so, we identify the determinants of absenteeism and/or presenteeism behavior based on theory and existing research about absenteeism, presenteeism, and job demands and job resources. After our empirical analysis, we provide explanations for our findings and offer practical suggestions for how to decrease the frequencies of absenteeism and presenteeism.

Methodology:

In this study, a sample of 212 nurses from German nursing homes was used for an ordinal logistic regression analysis.

Results:

Our results show that role overload significantly increases the frequencies of both absenteeism and presenteeism. A good team climate decreases absenteeism and increases the tendency to choose presenteeism rather than absenteeism, whereas strategic training and development opportunities decrease presenteeism and increase the tendency to choose absenteeism rather than presenteeism.

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