Good quality of presence in the workplace – charateristics and preconditions

Scientific article in Fysioterapeuten 11/2014.

Abstract

Lena Myhrberg, MSc., helsefremmende arbeid, Høgskolen i Buskerud og Vestfold. HMS-rådgiver/fysioterapeut, HMS-avdelingen, Fredrikstad kommune. lemy@fredrikstad.
kommune.no

Hege Forbech Vinje, førsteamanuensis, PhD., Høgskolen i Buskerud og Vestfold, Institutt for helsefremmende arbeid.

Abstract

Purpose: Presence at work may cover more than just physical presence. From this starting point, this study investigates what factors promote a sense of good presence in the workplace. This paper may contribute to the debate about absence and presence in worklife.

Material: The study was conducted in threee different municipal nursing-homes, and included nine employees from these worksites.

Method: Nine face-to-face in depth-interviews were analyzed by qualitative databased content analysis. 

Results: Good presence is described as a condition emerging from the experience: that work in itself is meaningful and creates engagement; a balance between challenge and mastery; reciprocal trust between leaders and employees; and leaders who act as facilitators and role models for good presence.

Conclusion: Good presence and absence are affected by the same factors but good presence requires a greater complexity of factors. Good presence, as emerged from this study, will likely promote a sense of having a good worklife for the workers, and thereby increase the quality of service they provide, which will benefit the patients, their families and the society as a whole. Increasing presence could be a purpose in itself,  independent of whether it will reduce sickness absence or not. The conditions that facilitate good presence should therefore be high-lighted in the debate about presence/absence in the workplace.

Keywords: Good presence/absence in the workplace, nursing staff, in-depth inter-views, health promotion in the workplace, leadership.

Full-text article in Norwegian