Long hours and heavy workloads are making staff less productive and
increasing absence rates, claims research.
Half of the 500 employees surveyed have suffered stress over the last 12
months, and a quarter of staff have had time off as a result.
The research, commissioned by the International Stress Management
Association and Royal & SunAlliance, also reveals that over 40 per cent of
staff who have suffered stress believe it has lowered their productivity.
Too much work is the most common cause of stress, with other catalysts
including deadline pressure, an unsupportive work environment and problems with
maintaining an acceptable work-life balance.
Long hours are also a problem with a quarter of staff working more than five
days a week and almost a third of these clocking up more than a 48-hour week.
The research accuses employers of continuing to disregard the Working Time
Directive, with 54 per cent of people who work more than a five-day week doing
so because their employer demands it.
Professor Cary Cooper, president of ISMA and stress expert, commented,
"Now we are going through an economic downturn, UK plc cannot afford poor
"Managing people effectively is fundamentally more important than
introducing new technology."