CFOs Unsure About How to Gauge Lost Health-Related Productivity

May 17, 2006 ( - Even though chief financial officers (CFOs) are aware that productivity is lost from their workers' health-related absences or from workers feeling ill at work, they lack information as to how much it actually impacts the company's finances, according to a recent survey.

According to a news release on the survey by the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), nearly half of the 343 respondents say that work time lost as a result of absenteeism and at-work illness has climbed and has negative financial impacts, but are not sure how to quantify it. Less than a quarter of CFOs say they receive information about the financial impact of absence and 8% know the impact of time lost when employees are ill at work.

“CFOs recognize that the effects of ill health impact their company’s economic stability and extend to lost work time and its impact on workforce productivity,” said Thomas Parry, president of the IBI, in the release. “Unfortunately, a majority of CFOs today are not provided the necessary information to help them understand how benefits can be an investment in workforce productivity.” 

Nearly 90% of the respondents say they prefer using overtime to address absence, while 60% prefer temporary help. Nearly 40% allow work to go undone and deadlines to be missed, risking lost revenue and reduced quality.

The survey was conducted by CFO Research Services whose participation was funded by healthcare company Novartis, a member of IBI’s Board of Directors through its Employer Business Unit.

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