Everyone has worked while sick or in pain, but how does that affect job performance?
Both the energy and job performance of workers are affected, according to research co-authored by Michael Christian and Chaitali Kapadia (PhD ’17) of UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.
The researchers tracked two samples of office workers over time and examined the effects of both chronic pain and momentary pain during the workday.
Their study “Dynamic Associations among Somatic Complaints, Human Energy, and Discretionary Behaviors: Experiences with Pain Fluctuations at Work” in Administrative Science Quarterly can be read here.
“Our research shows that workers’ physical well-being has implications for organizations far beyond absenteeism and attrition,” said Christian.
According to the researchers:
Employees are often asked or feel obligated to work regardless of how bad they feel, which isn’t good for business because the result is employees who are less engaged and less helpful, the researchers found.
“What’s good for business is to recognize daily changes in physical health – rather than commitment – can affect performance,” said Kapadia, now a professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. “They could reap long-term benefits by showing understanding to their workers.”
Business leaders who want the best performance from their employees should: