Screening the future
Take Home Messages:
Surveys such as the Work Productivity Short Inventory (WPSI) and the Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ) may provide an effective means of assessing workplace productivity losses.
Why the research matters:
There is increasing evidence to suggest that the health of workers has a significant impact on workplace productivity. But in order to assess the impact of health on productivity, appropriate data collection tools must be developed.
What the research involved:
This study looked at the use of two different surveys for assessing workplace productivity and time lost due to illness:
- The Work Productivity Short Inventory (WPSI); and
- The Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ).
These two tools were trailed on the same employees working at a large telecommunications firm.
Summary of research findings:
The study found:
- The average losses due to decreased workplace productivity were $2000 to $2800 per employee per year; and
- Decreased productivity was associated with perceived health status and the existence of particular medical conditions.
In comparing the two surveys, the study ascertained that:
- The average losses in workplace productivity were 4.9% as measured by the WLQ and 6.9% as measured by the WPSI;
- The WLQ is useful for assessing:
- Overall productivity concerns; and
- The impact on productivity of the worker’s ability to handle physical, mental, interpersonal, time management, and workload challenges; and
- The WPSI is useful for:
- Assessing the impact of individual diseases or conditions on productivity; and
- Estimating the financial losses caused by decreased productivity.
The application of two health and productivity instruments at a large employer.
Ozminkowski RJ, Goetzel RZ, Chang S, Long S.
J Occup Environ Med. 2004 Jul;46(7):635-48.