Stress levels rise in UK offices as workloads soar

Office workloads have increased during the last year, pushing up stress levels among employees, according to new research.

Wrike studied the lives of office workers in the UK, Germany and France, and found that 58% of British staff felt their workload had gone up, with 20% says it was up ‘significantly’.

Staff shortages, longer hours and difficulties in taking time off were found to be major factors in the independent survey.

According to the research, a lot of staffing levels do not match the amount of work coming in, with firms either opting not to hire or having to cut their workforce due to financial pressures.

The impacts of increased workloads

Employees also said that having increased responsibility alongside their workload was causing stress, as many suggest they had to cover for others on top of their own duties.

This ultimately impacts on productivity and wellbeing, as the work-life balance is affected, although a third of managers expect staff to put in extra time to complete tasks.

Knock-on effects could see staff leave the business, which drives up recruitment costs and increases the workload for others in the meantime – for smaller firms these sorts of issues could place pressure on both business finances and staff.

Firms fearing difficulties are encouraged to act early and may wish to undertake an independent business review to assess the state of proceedings.

Issues to tackle

Around 31% of workers said they spent less time with their families than a year ago, while 28% have less time for holidays.

Just one fifth of workers said they are happy with their current workloads, while nearly 60% revealed they would work less I they could afford to do so, or if their workloads were adjusted.

The key to tackling the productivity issue surrounds technology it is claimed, as it can help workers to share information, work remotely and boost productivity.

Wrike founder and CEO Andrew Filey suggests that systems and processes are not keeping up with growing workloads.

He also claims that business leaders need to manage their expectations to ensure that they do not expect too much from their workforce.

By Phil Smith

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