Managers are working longer hours in more stressful
conditions to cope with the recession, with serious effects on their physical
and mental health, according to a new report comparing the wellbeing of
managers in 2012 with those in 2007.
The Chartered Management Institute/Simplyhealth
report, The Quality of Working Life 2012, surveyed 1300 managers in 2007 and
2012 and paints a bleak picture of the impact of the recession on workplaces.
Workers report having no choice but to work overtime and mental and physical
wellbeing has declined for 12 of 13 key health indicators. Levels of stress,
insomnia, feeling unable to cope and depression have all risen over the
five-year period, while the majority of parents surveyed are worried working
long hours is damaging relationships with their children.
The average manager now works around 46 days unpaid
overtime per year - working back more than one and half times the average
annual leave entitlement, and up from 40 days in the 2007 study. Some 60 % of
those working overtime feel they had no choice because of the volume of work,
and 29 % worked long hours because job cuts had increased their workload.
Managers are concerned about the adverse effects of these long hours, with 59 %
worried about the impact on their stress levels and 54 % feeling they had a
negative effect on their physical health.
Although 42 % reported being in good health, a
substantially higher percentage reported that their health had got worse in the
last three months (28 %) than reported that their health had got better (6 %).
Many of them displayed symptoms of stress or anxiety, with 61 % suffering from
constant tiredness; 60 % suffering from insomnia or sleep loss; 45 % feeling or
becoming angry with other people too easily; 33 % avoiding contact with other
people; and 30 % feeling unable to cope.
Howard Hughes of Simplyhealth says, "When it comes to health and
wellbeing in the workplace, illness levels have increased, but managers seem
less likely to take time off work when they are genuinely ill. It looks like
presenteeism is another symptom of high levels of organisational change. All
organizations should ensure they have programmes in place to encourage employees
to be proactive about caring for their health - this kind of good management
will increase productivity, and ultimately the bottom line."
Health cash plan news: 23 July 2012