Stress more problematic than long hours

23-02-2007

 Stress more problematic than long hours
The main concern of the UK workforce is not long working hours – it's stress.

In the run up to the TUC 'Work Your Proper Hours Day' the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has issued a warning to employers that reducing work related pressure and employee stress levels is the "real" problem.

Ben Willmott, CIPD employee relations adviser, says: "There are pockets of long-hours working and sometimes this can have negative consequences including work related stress. But more frequently work related stress is caused by poor line management.

"Managing stress at work is to a large extent simply about good people management and this can be completely unconnected to the number of hours worked."

He suggests that team members must be set clear individual targets by their managers, there should be frequent feedback – positive and negative - and communication must be clear.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that 19 per cent of employees worked more than 45 hours a week in 2006, down from 24 per cent in 1998. At present, one in four employees work fewer than 30 hours a week.

Every year UK employers work unpaid extra hours which equate to £23 billion worth of free overtime, according to the TUC.

'Work Your Proper Hours Day' officially takes place on Friday, February 23rd.

Related categories: HR / Recruitment.


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