We’re working harder – no kidding

Employees are ‘working harder than last year,’ finds one survey, and a whopping one in five have acknowledged they are performing the work of two or more people.

We’re working harder – no kidding

Employees are ‘working harder than last year,’ finds one survey, and a whopping one in five have acknowledged they are performing the work of two or more people.

Nearly half of British employees are working harder than they were a year ago, according to the results of new research, as a survey of 2,000 staff by the recruitment firm Randstad found that 40 per cent had a bigger workload than 12 months ago.

Of greater concern, a block of “severely overstretched workers” were doing the work of two or more people, it revealed. One-fifth of those surveyed said that their workload should be covered by two people or more, while 6 per cent claimed to be doing the job of at least two-and-a-half workers.

“Spread-thin Britain is being stretched even thinner,” says Mark Bull, CEO of Randstad UK and Middle East. “Up until recently, firms were reluctant to take on staff because they were concerned the nascent economic recovery could be easily derailed. As a result, existing staff have taken on increasingly large workloads, particularly as the recovery has gained momentum and demand has increased.”

Two-fifths of workers could be “be close to breaking point,” warns Bull, as 43 per cent of respondents said that it was not possible for them to work any harder.

Just over half of those polled (53 per cent) reported that they were doing the job of more than one person, up from 45 per cent last year. (continued.)

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The average U.K. employee was doing the job of 1.4 people – the equivalent of a seven-day working week, said the study.

However, there were some benefits for this new breed of super-worker, according to Randstad, as heavier workloads had brought rewards in terms of faster career progression.

“The downturn has been a progression recession, spawning a new breed of ‘super-worker’ that grafts extremely hard and has flown up the career ladder as a result. It has left the U.K. labour market in good shape,” says Bull. “The workforce has been battle-hardened by the recession, which has left the U.K. with a core of highly-skilled high-fliers who can be the driving force behind the economic recovery.”

One-quarter of survey respondents in the financial services sector said that a larger workload has helped them to secure a promotion, while 13 per cent felt it had helped them get a pay rise and 28 per cent thought it has improved their skill set.
 

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