On-the-Job Productivity Losses Among Employees With Health Problems: The Role of Work Accommodations

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Abstract

Objectives:

Debates about the productivity impact of work accommodations typically focus on employment and labor force participation outcomes. This study considers whether accommodations mediate on-the-job productivity losses among employees who report health problems.

Methods:

The study uses ordered logistic regression to predict employees’ self-reported productivity losses as a function of health problems and experiences with needed work accommodations.

Results:

On average, the odds that an employee who did not get a needed accommodation reported higher levels of lost productivity are 5.11 times the odds for an employee who got a needed accommodation.

Conclusions:

Although health problems make it difficult for many employees to perform well on the job, accommodations could reduce productivity losses in some cases. Nonetheless, more research on the impact of specific kinds of accommodations for different chronic conditions is warranted.

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