COMPANY CULTURE / OCT. 04, 2013
version 3, draft 3

Half of all Staff on the Verge of 'Breaking Point’

An increasing number of British workers are ‘close to breaking point’ according to a new Randstad research. The research conducted shows that employees are working harder, despite signs of improvement in UK’s economy. 

In brief, the findings of the study (which included 2000 participants, all of whom were employees of British businesses) indicated that:

-   Some 40% of respondents said they were working harder than they were a year ago.

-   43% of people said they could not work any harder (a rise of 30% compared to a year earlier)

-   53% of all UK staff believe their job is the work of 1.4 people (the equivalent of working a seven-day week)

-   22% of respondents said their job requires the efforts of two or more people.

Why British employees need to work harder?

The chief executive of Randstad explains that until recently, companies were reluctant to hire staff because of the instability governing the nation’s economic recovery. As a result, existing staff have taken on heavier workloads with the burden now so great that more than two in five employees admit they simply cannot work any harder.

When it comes to the most demanding positions, the sector with the greatest amount of people reporting they cannot work any harder is social care (53.9%), followed by legal (49.4%), then technology (49.3%). At the other end of the scale,  those in the construction industry (39.4%) say they are most able to tak eon more work, followed by doctors (33.7%) and then teachers and lecturers (37.2%).

How is employee productivity affected?

Does the heavy workload British employees encounter impact on their productivity? Figures by the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics last month revealed falling productivity per worker. Output per worker in Britain was 19% below the average of the major economies (Canada, France, Italy, Japan and the U.S.) and 2% lower than it was in 2007, before the appearance of the financial crisis.

However, Randstad explained that low productivity did not mean that employees were not putting in effort. The productivity issue is due to capital and human capital being used in less productive areas of economy.

The results of this survey describe the image of overstretched staff being forced to do more than their fair share and perhaps more than they are paid for. 

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