Recession driving Brit workers into health meltdown

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Less holidays and more work make for unhappy Brits

Britain’s workforce is heading for a well-being meltdown as a result of the recession and unmanageable stress, Towers Watson has warned.

According to research by the professional service company, 34 percent of the employees surveyed admitted that they are often affected by excessive pressure in their jobs. Over half also said they had been working more hours than normal over the last three years and half expect this to continue for the next three years.

The Global Workforce Study (GWS) also highlighted the demands on workers that the recession has brought about, with only half of UK workers feeling their stress levels at work are manageable. Despite increasing requirements for businesses to provide workers with advice on health and well-being, just a third of employees feel that their senior leaders support such policies.

And with job cuts becoming a common way of working life, British workers feel a need to display their commitment to the job. According to the survey, more than a quarter have not been using as much holiday or personal time off over the last three years.

Towers Watson said this coincided with a trend for cutting workforce numbers, leaving one 22 percent of employees feeling that the amount of work they are asked to do is unreasonable with around 30 percent believing their organisation is under-resourced.

Charles Fair, senior engagement and well-being consultant at Towers Watson, said several years of economic uncertainty had led to increased anxiety around job security with workers putting in longer hours than ever. He said this raised “concerns of ‘burn-out’ amongst British workers.”

He advised that businesses “should act now to avoid a work until you drop culture” turning into the norm, warning that workers could become increasingly unproductive.


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