presenteeism
(prez.un.TEE.iz.um) n. The feeling that one must show up for work even if one is too sick, stressed, or distracted to be productive; the feeling that one needs to work extra hours even if one has no extra work to do.
presentee n.

Example Citation:
"Anne, who earns Pounds 25,000 a year, would like to start a family but is scared of losing her hard-won career. She and Sam are typical of a workforce now motivated by presenteeism, the exact opposite of absenteeism: being at work when you should be at home, either because you are ill or because you are working such long hours that you are no longer effective.

The term has been coined by Professor Cary Cooper, a psychologist specialising in organisational management at Manchester University."
—Susan Clark, "Presentees," Sunday Times, October 16, 1994

Earliest Citation:
presenteeism — being at work when you shouldn't be, because although you are too tired or ill to be effective, you are too insecure about your job to stay away — is nearly as big a problem as absenteeism.
—Lisa O'Kelly, "Lonely life on the British treadmill," The Observer, July 31, 1994

Note that there is an earlier sense of this term that refers to having the desire or motivation to go to work:


Some care is being taken to use a different language. Foremen and other factory officials go by the title "adviser" in keeping with their role as coordinators and providers of information rather than overseers. To deal with the industry-wide problem of absenteeism, Saturn talks about "presenteeism" and the labor agreement ties some of the extra incentive pay to how often the worker is present.
—John F. Lawrence, "Saturn project: An experiment in togetherness," Los Angeles Times, November 10, 1985

Notes:
This word is a play on absenteeism, chronic absence from work without a good reason.

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