How Telemedicine Reduces Absenteeism and Boosts Workplace Performance

For our company to thrive there has to be a collaborative effort between the employers and the employees. The moment this effort becomes one-sided, the company is likely going to suffer. One way this can happen is when our employees are consistently absent from work.

An employer, in addition to coordinating company activities also has the responsibility of keeping track of employees’ conduct and performance. A major part of this includes looking out for their mental and physical health.

But looking back on history, it’s been discovered that supporting and maintaining healthcare is costly and taxing. Canadians have reported the development of new practices which require patients to restrict their complaints to just one per session, and this increases the probability of scheduling another visit to the doctor concerning a different health issue. This new development has made it difficult for employees to tackle health issues and work, due to time consumed during travel to and from work/home, waiting time, and consultation sessions. So, the big question is - how can employees strike a balance with their healthcare and work?

Now, this is where telemedicine comes into the big picture, it fills the gap between absenteeism and performance.


Top Causes of Absenteeism

illnesses are one of the 5 major reasons why there is work absenteeism amongst employers. This is a major issue since most employees would rather miss a workday than take a day off even for something as important as a doctor’s appointment because of how much it would cost them.
Also, using international standards, it’s been discovered the rate of absenteeism in the EU is high. It is even higher when compared with studies performed in the U.S and U.K. The high rate makes it clear why the EU loses billions of dollars yearly alongside work productivity.


Absenteeism’s impact on workplace productivity

Absenteeism produces a variety of effects on companies. A survey carried out by the Society for Human Resource Management shows that persistent absence of employees directly affects their co-workers and managers or employees, by causing an exponential increase in the volume of work of other employees and those in charge. This also applies to the part of the managers.

Consistent absenteeism of managers from the workplace costs the employees and the whole company reduced performance and productivity.

Forbes compiled a report after a Gallup-Healthways well-being index survey which explained in details the yearly cost of reduced productivity and performance depending on the job type. According to the this survey, reduced productivity or performance of managers or executives cost about $15.7 billion yearly while the cost on the side of service employees summed up to $8.5 billion per annum. For clerical and office employees, the cost was rounded up to $8.1 billion, while that of sales workers at $6.8 billion and business owners costing $2 billion. These summed up costs cut across different reasons such as little or no motivation, decreased performance, high administrative fees and the cost of replacing or employing new workers.
If these apply to your company, maybe it time to try out telemedicine.
Telemedicine’s Unique Services

Studies reveal that almost 90 per cent of doctor’s appointments and visits could have been replaced by consulting the doctor online via a telemedicine platform. The rest of the 10 per cent need a one on one examination, testing, care and treatment that cannot be replaced by technology. Nevertheless, enhancing work performance by 90 per cent or even more would make a great impact and we like the idea. There are a lot of telemedicine companies making massive impacts on the healthcare and labour industry and Mobidoctor happens to be one of them. The use of the virtual healthcare system has not only saved a lot of time but also helped people recover even faster without having to see a doctor.
Some services we offer at Mobidoctor include consultation services and also diagnosis for common illnesses like colds, headaches, flu, asthma, some mental health disorders and more. Through these services, your employees can easily relay their symptoms to a medical professional, get diagnosed and also treated in no time, so they can regain focus. At the end of the day, everyone would pick being productive over being ill, wouldn’t they?

If you are an employer, you probably know how hard it could be to continually give hours, days or even a week off because of an employee’s health issue. Telemedicine makes everything easier, say for example an employee takes an hour off for a doctor’s appointment ( and most times exceed it), next day 2 or 3 more hours off to take some exams or tests and the third day to hear and pick up results, possibly medications too. This could go on and on, and right before your eyes, a whole week has been exhausted on your employee’s health issue. Why go through this, when this could be handled using a virtual meeting and in a few cases, two or more.

For example, in 2013, Cisco’s Global Experience reported that about 74 per cent of its participant didn’t mind a virtual doctor’s visit. Since this report and till date, there has been an increasing rise in this new trend. Telemedicine has been thought to be most beneficial to individuals who reside and work in rural areas, thereby reducing the rate of absenteeism. Saving time and cash has never been easier.

How Telemedicine Combats Absenteeism

Telehealth is a unique system that helps patients prevent and tackle illnesses and also encourages a healthy mental state and better workplace productivity and performance.
One of the most prominent setbacks of the virtual healthcare system is its inability to substitute for one-on-one doctor visits for acute care and also the cost of medical bills. A recently done survey showed that the 24/7 accessibility and availability of telemedicine made just an equal distribution of the necessary services through the whole week. This makes it possible for your employees to consult a doctor or make appointments even outside work hours, thereby reducing the need to be absent from work.
This same survey also revealed that the most common to be diseases such as bladder/urinary tract infections (6%), cold, flu and pertussis (12%) and sinusitis (20%). The vendors upon which the survey was done “admitted that they had been able to solve most of the patient's issues and address their conditions 83 per cent of the time” and that out of the 83 per cent, about 60 per cent of the issues had been addressed and solved through a prescription. If this is made available for your employees, it would not only help reduce recovery time but also increase productivity at work.

Telehealth and Mental Health

Mental health is one of the most common reasons why employees miss work. A study by AXA PP Healthcare showed that anxiety (25%) was one of the leading reasons why employees missed work and also a common cold (23%). These are very common excuses which have a profound effect on the company’s overall performance.
A virtual doctor’s visit can easily help diagnose and treat symptoms of flu and also the common cold. But on the other hand, depression, anxiety, stress and other related issues are a bit more complex. Although the signs of mental health illnesses or problems might be harder to identify as an employer compared to other illnesses such as the flu, they are all significant and should be accustomed the same care and effort in other to improve employees health and performance.

There, but not really

When mental health issues begin to affect the workplace and performance negatively, it is termed presenteeism. This simply implies that a workers physical presence at work is almost as good as his absence. This is because; the employee is unable to function effectively. Just as absenteeism, presenteeism is also capable of costing the company its general performance and also some money.
The virtual health system through the use of telemedicine is capable of handling and solving mental health issues. Some benefits of telepsychiatry to mental health that has been drawn out by include decreased stigma, better access to healthcare, the ability to set appointments at the patient’s convenience and more.
Mobidoctor medical professionals also offer online video therapy for certain conditions such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and many more problems. A mentally stable and healthy employee would, in turn, produce a productive and high performing company.

Telehealth Prevention and Treatment

Take some time to imagine how productive your company would be if none of your employees fell sick, massively right?

It would mean no more days or weeks of sick leave and better efficiency. Telemedicine doesn’t just help address and treat diseases; it also focuses on the prevention of diseases to improve workplace performance and productivity.

Through telemedicine, employees can attend video therapies with their physicians for advice, labs, prescriptions and more at their convenience and also able to juggle this with work regardless of their working hours. This makes telemedicine very reliable and a great option for most people.

It is rather unfortunate, that the conventional healthcare system is focused on the sick-care model, meaning that they allocate more value to the treatment and cure of most diseases rather than the prevention. Most of the recent researches on telemedicine and disease prevention are focused on certain diseases such as coronary artery disease, diabetes and more.
The Rural Health Information Hub revealed that telemedicine has made a positive impact in a lot of patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, by helping save them not just time but also money whilst providing them with necessary information and advice needed concerning self-management.

Just as with chronic conditions, Telehealth also helps in the prevention of some common illnesses such as flu, common cold, migraines and more. It also helps to tackle mental health diseases, thereby preventing both absenteeism and presenteeism.

A Healthy Employee is a Happy One

You feel good, you do well and you feel better you also do better. The virtual medicine puts employees in control of their general health, by complete and convenient access to healthcare at any time and anywhere. These create an appositive impact in their workplaces and their families, making them happier, healthier, fulfilled and more effective.
For example, if one of your best or topmost employees begins to complain of or goes down with frequent and severe headaches, this would, in turn, cause a major reduction in productivity and performance levels. In line with this development, you recommend the telemedicine services which you have just acquired for company, and it grants your employee immediate access to a doctor who in turn reveals possible causes of his or her problem. Now all these have happened possibly within just within a few minutes and your employee didn’t even have to visit a hospital or miss even as little as an hour from work. Amazing, right?

Now this shows you how certain ailments or illness (after identification and treatment) can bring about a better lifestyle, mental and physical health through telemedicine
In conclusion, telemedicine has been found to cause a reasonable reduction in employee workplace absenteeism and also improve workplace productivity and performance. You are only really prepared for true success when you put into view your team’s or employee’s care and wellbeing.

Remember, your company can only be as healthy as your employees are.


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