Having a stable income to sustain a family or desired lifestyle is the goal of every working citizen. From a young age, children were taught to explore their talents in pursuit of discovering valuable skills that could lead to a prosperous livelihood for their future.
Unfortunately, the mortality of the human body limits the pursuit of personal success due to illnesses like the common cold and the flu. Often times these limitations do not stop with just physical ailments as there is anxiety, addiction, dependency, and mental disorders that also effect work ethic and job performance.
Productivity Offenders: Physical Health Problems
The most common work productivity offenders are the illness and aliments that each person must endure all year. The most common excuses for calling off of work would be allergies, common colds, flus, and pathogens.
Viral infections, the common cold, and the dreaded allergy season play a huge effect on the productivity of a company on a daily basis. In this day and age, having an employee come to work with just one of the symptoms of these common illnesses causes an uproar at the workplace in fear that the illness would spread like wild fire. Employees are forced to go home and tend to their illness with the hopes of a speedy recovery.
Surgeries and Accidents
Other productivity offenders are the uncontrollable forces around us that cause unfortunate disasters to happen. Car collisions, broken limbs, injuries, and accidents take valuable employees out of work to deal with the problems they find themselves in.
Thankfully modern medicine has advanced to help those struggling with their mortality with a speedy recovery. Antibiotics, advanced diagnosis equipment, antivirals, and pain medication are all advancements in medicine that get the working population back to work when the body becomes plagued with aliments and injuries.
With these advancements leaves room for over use and abuse.
Pills, Addiction, and Dependency
One of the greatest achievements in medicine is the discovery and development of pharmaceuticals.
If you cannot get into deep, REM sleep, there is a pill for that.
If stress and anxiety is keeping you from doing your job, there is a pill for that.
If you are in pain, sick, fidgety or cannot focus on a single task, there is most certainly a pill for all of that.
Pills like Cymbalta, OxyContin, and Adderall can be prescribed by your trusted medical physician with little to no hassle. Many who choose this as the answer and not a short term solution can become dependent or addicted to the effects of long term pharmaceutical drug use.
Surprisingly enough, this incident is how many people get addicted to opiates with a potential gateway to street drug use. There intentions were to control the pain so they can get back to work, only to find themselves dependent of the substance to function normally.
The Disease Model of Addiction
Those who have never seen the destruction of addiction may think that substance abuse is a moral choice. That those who are struggle with an addiction to heroin choose to use
and abuse that substance every day.
It couldn’t be farther from the truth. Scientific studies have reported physical and chemical changes in the brain after as little as 6 months of daily doses of opiate pills or heroin. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has made a definitive conclusion that addiction is a disease and should be medically treated as such.
The short definition:
“Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.”
No one aspires to become an addict but, more often than not, those who depend on a substance to stabilizes their mind and body to be working class citizens get sucked into that life in pursuit of another.
Sometimes it is easier to have physical symptoms that let you know that your body needs time to heal and that there is a future of good health. Infections, viruses, and common illness promise recovery. Struggling with mental illnesses have no promise of improving health, just a long road of maintenance.
Productivity Offenders: Mental Health Problems
Those who struggle with a mental illness must take it one day at a time. Bipolar disorders, PTSD, or depression are silent productivity offenders robbing employees of their ambitions. Where physical illness defines a path toward recovery, mental illness does not.
Many who deal with mental illnesses cannot afford the solutions of treatment. Whether it is professional counseling or daily medication doses, those who struggle with mental illness cannot afford the means of treatment. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, many choose to self-medicate with alcohol and/or drugs.
Investing in What Matters
Companies understand that their success depends on the productivity of the people they employ and the environment they work in. Providing their employees with paid time off, health insurance, and sick days ensure that they are given the help they need when they need it and time to properly heal free from stress.
Choosing to invest in your employee’s health and recovery tends to be a better company investment than termination and replacements. All aspects of an employee’s health – physical and mental – should be covered to ensure that the productivity of a company is consistent. Consider sending your employee to a trusted treatment center that will address all their needs, so that you can have them back at work delivering the productivity you know they can dedicate to your company.