More than half of managers feel obliged to work late

A culture of working long hours is leading to stress among senior executives

UK businesses are riven by a culture of ‘presenteeism’, increasing stress
levels among managers, research has found.

The study by Roffey Park, which specialises in training and developing
senior executives, found 58 per cent of the 400 managers it questioned said
they felt under pressure to stay in the office considerably longer than their
contracted hours, often regardless of whether their workload demanded it.

A total of 90 per cent of managers said they worked an extra hour every day,
while 20 per cent admitted working more than three extra hours a day.

Seventy one per cent said their heavy workloads led to stress, and that
stress was made worse not better by having access to e-mail.

They complained of lack of time, little support and feeling that they did
not have control over their workload.

Staff shortages and the pressures of trying to maintain a high level of
performance all added to stress levels, the survey, Management Agenda 2002,

Yet authors Linda Holbeche and Claire McCartney added: "Managers are
still experiencing ongoing change and stress levels remain high. But in many
cases, the picture is more optimistic than it was last year, which suggests
that managers are adjusting or finding new ways to cope with change."

Since the events of 11 September, more managers said they felt a growing
awareness of their own mortality, with many looking for ‘meaning’ in their
lives and the chance to do something worthwhile, either at home or in the
workplace, they said.

European working time directive is being ignored

– One in six UK workers is working
more than 48 hours a week, despite the introduction of the European working
time directive, according to a survey by the TUC.

– Nearly four million employees (16 per cent) were now working
more than 48 hours a week, 350,000 more than in 1992.

– Most were men, with one in four working more than 48 hours.
One in 10 men was working even longer hours.

– Nearly 1.25 million worked more than 55 hours a week – almost
a seven-day week of normal eight-hour days.

– One in 25 men (4 per cent) worked more than 60 hours.

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