Long hours culture putting UK employees at risk

We are often known as a nation of workaholics. In fact, a 2011 report suggested that in the EU, only employees in Austria and Greece work longer hours than those in the UK....

Articles

This week is National Work Life Week in the UK.

We are often known as a nation of workaholics. In fact, a 2011 report suggested that in the EU, only employees in Austria and Greece work longer hours than those in the UK. Clocking up an average of 42.7 hours a week, more than two-thirds of UK employees told the Smith Institute that they were working longer hours than they would have been just two years ago.

However, while the UK’s approach to working patterns is generally accepted as commonplace amongst its workers and businesses alike, this kind of lifestyle is not healthy. Research pooled from 25 studies, involving more than 600,000 individuals, found that working long hours (upwards of 55 hours a week) increases the chance of suffering a stroke and/or heart disease.

Long working hours also contribute to stress and mental health issues: a survey by Business in the Community and YouGov found that 77% of employees have experienced some kind of mental health problem, with 62% identifying work as a contributing factor.

CV-library actually found that bad management is the largest cause of stress for a majority of workers (65.8%), followed by low morale within the workplace (38.1%), unfriendly colleagues (35.7%), heavy workloads (34.1%), long working hours (29.3%)and poor work/life balance (25.5%)

That said, Britons are beginning to recognise the value in reducing time spent at work. In 1997, 26% of employees worked more than 45 hours each week; in 2013 that figure was down to 20%.

Alex Fleming said:
“This is not just an issue about employees’ health; there is a serious business case to be made here. Overworked employees are more prone to making mistakes, less productive and more likely to require sick leave. Employers need to ensure that their workers exhibit high productivity, but that does not necessarily equate to more hours in the office. Many employers in Sweden have recently introduced the six-hour day, where studies show that employees get sick less, have lower stress and actually work harder!”

Related Articles

Interview Tips: Six Steps To A Successful Virtual Interview

In today’s digital age many companies use advanced technology to streamline work processes. This includes the use of applicant tracking software to automate parts of the hiring process, along with a shift to virtual job interviews, which help employers and recruiters connect with a wider talent pool. Virtual interviews are more common than ever – especially if you’re applying for a job in another region or country, or if your boss-to-be is based remotely. If it’s your first time having a virtual interview there can be a lot to think about, so here are 6 top tips to ensure you’re well prepared and confident on the day.

read more
How A Strong Social Media Profile Can Help You Get Hired

Today, social media is very much a part of everyday life, and like many people, checking your social feeds might be one of the first things you do each day. But social media is no longer just for our personal lives, helping us to connect with friends and share experiences - it can be a valuable asset when taking the next step in your career. Many companies use social media as a recruitment tool for finding and screening potential new employees through social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

read more