Research Topic

Presenteeism in the Aftermath of COVID-19: New Trends and Contributions Regarding Sickness Presence at Work

About this Research Topic

Regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, the WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently pointed out that: “The great advantage we have is that the decisions we all make – as governments, businesses, communities, families, and individuals – can influence the trajectory of this epidemic. We need to remember that with decisive, early action, we can slow down the virus and prevent infections. (…)” (WHO, 2020). This public health problem impacted society at several levels, thus having serious economic, demographic, and behavioral implications. Managers and society now face the adversities of attending work while ill as a complex phenomenon with dramatic implications on people’s lives, wellbeing, and productivity. More than ever, the construct of presenteeism deserves attention in the academic community as it may become more central for individuals and organizations to assume new or different meanings and connotations. It may be even more relevant than ever to distinguish between different types of illnesses related to presenteeism, as well as to different sectors.

To address these concerns, this Research Topic aims to delve into the causes, consequences, and dynamics of presenteeism at the workplace. We seek to attract high-quality conceptual and empirical papers on presenteeism and presenteeism-related topics (e.g., productivity loss, interplay between absenteeism and presenteeism). We welcome papers linking the COVID-19 outbreak to the presenteeism phenomena but is not limited to the COVID-19 reality as contributions should address unsolved questions in the existing literature with relevant implications for theory and practice. Therefore, the following topics are welcomed (the list is by no means exhaustive):

• The aftermath of COVID-19: New policies and guidelines to manage absenteeism and presenteeism at work;
• Cross-cultural differences (e.g. societal values and work regulations) on measurement and contextualization of presenteeism;
• Construction and development of new measures and metrics of presenteeism and attendance behavior;
• Social constructions of presenteeism (e.g., presenteeism culture, presenteeism norms, presenteeism climate) and COVID-19 outbreak impacts on collective and individual presenteeism behaviors and further outcomes such as wellbeing, quality of life, productivity;
• Team characteristics (e.g. task interdependence) and presenteeism affecting performance at different levels;
• The role of leadership in shaping a culture of presenteeism, considering leadership sickness presence and how leaders deal with illness in their workforce;
• The impact of presenteeism on behavioral decision-making processes at the micro and macro level;
• Conceptual approaches around the monetization of presenteeism and comparative analysis with other measures and constructs such as absenteeism;
• Variation in presenteeism across different occupational sectors and the impact of mediators and moderators (e.g., job security, employment rate, intergroup dependence, customer orientation) on individual and organizational outcomes;
• Linear and curvilinear effects on the antecedents and consequences of presenteeism;
• Paradoxes and tensions affecting attendance behavior while ill and its consequences (e.g. losses in well-being and productivity), including the change (due to COVID-19 outbreak) from a positive conceptualization of presenteeism as “sustainable” behavior (e.g. as a possible citizenship behavior) to a negative conceptualization as “deviant behavior” (e.g. contagious effect);
• Objective versus subjective measures of health: how different individual characteristics (e.g. personality traits, locus of control, disclosure of illness) influence the perception of illness at work;
• The impact of the COVID-19 aftermath on new forms of work (e.g. home working, virtual teams, gig economy workers) on perceptions, diffusion, and conceptualization of presenteeism as well as on its determinants and consequences.


***Due to the exceptional nature of the COVID-19 situation, Frontiers is waiving all article publishing charges for COVID-19 related research in this Research Topic.***


Keywords: presenteeism, sickness presence, productivity loss, COVID-19, organizations.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, the WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently pointed out that: “The great advantage we have is that the decisions we all make – as governments, businesses, communities, families, and individuals – can influence the trajectory of this epidemic. We need to remember that with decisive, early action, we can slow down the virus and prevent infections. (…)” (WHO, 2020). This public health problem impacted society at several levels, thus having serious economic, demographic, and behavioral implications. Managers and society now face the adversities of attending work while ill as a complex phenomenon with dramatic implications on people’s lives, wellbeing, and productivity. More than ever, the construct of presenteeism deserves attention in the academic community as it may become more central for individuals and organizations to assume new or different meanings and connotations. It may be even more relevant than ever to distinguish between different types of illnesses related to presenteeism, as well as to different sectors.

To address these concerns, this Research Topic aims to delve into the causes, consequences, and dynamics of presenteeism at the workplace. We seek to attract high-quality conceptual and empirical papers on presenteeism and presenteeism-related topics (e.g., productivity loss, interplay between absenteeism and presenteeism). We welcome papers linking the COVID-19 outbreak to the presenteeism phenomena but is not limited to the COVID-19 reality as contributions should address unsolved questions in the existing literature with relevant implications for theory and practice. Therefore, the following topics are welcomed (the list is by no means exhaustive):

• The aftermath of COVID-19: New policies and guidelines to manage absenteeism and presenteeism at work;
• Cross-cultural differences (e.g. societal values and work regulations) on measurement and contextualization of presenteeism;
• Construction and development of new measures and metrics of presenteeism and attendance behavior;
• Social constructions of presenteeism (e.g., presenteeism culture, presenteeism norms, presenteeism climate) and COVID-19 outbreak impacts on collective and individual presenteeism behaviors and further outcomes such as wellbeing, quality of life, productivity;
• Team characteristics (e.g. task interdependence) and presenteeism affecting performance at different levels;
• The role of leadership in shaping a culture of presenteeism, considering leadership sickness presence and how leaders deal with illness in their workforce;
• The impact of presenteeism on behavioral decision-making processes at the micro and macro level;
• Conceptual approaches around the monetization of presenteeism and comparative analysis with other measures and constructs such as absenteeism;
• Variation in presenteeism across different occupational sectors and the impact of mediators and moderators (e.g., job security, employment rate, intergroup dependence, customer orientation) on individual and organizational outcomes;
• Linear and curvilinear effects on the antecedents and consequences of presenteeism;
• Paradoxes and tensions affecting attendance behavior while ill and its consequences (e.g. losses in well-being and productivity), including the change (due to COVID-19 outbreak) from a positive conceptualization of presenteeism as “sustainable” behavior (e.g. as a possible citizenship behavior) to a negative conceptualization as “deviant behavior” (e.g. contagious effect);
• Objective versus subjective measures of health: how different individual characteristics (e.g. personality traits, locus of control, disclosure of illness) influence the perception of illness at work;
• The impact of the COVID-19 aftermath on new forms of work (e.g. home working, virtual teams, gig economy workers) on perceptions, diffusion, and conceptualization of presenteeism as well as on its determinants and consequences.


***Due to the exceptional nature of the COVID-19 situation, Frontiers is waiving all article publishing charges for COVID-19 related research in this Research Topic.***


Keywords: presenteeism, sickness presence, productivity loss, COVID-19, organizations.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 January 2021 Abstract
30 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 January 2021 Abstract
30 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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