January 15, 2019
Overstretched UK employees are disengaged and unproductive at work
New research has found that over 2 million UK workers think about quitting their job every day and this figure was significantly higher amongst younger workers, aged 18-24, with 12 percent of those surveyed stating they think about this daily. The research by CABA, a charity supporting the wellbeing of chartered accountants and their families, also highlighted that 38 percent of employees regularly encountered stressful situations at work. Women were most likely to feel this way, with 41 percent revealing they deal with stressful circumstances at least once a week. Comparatively, only 34 percent of male employees admitted to encountering such situations on at least a weekly basis. Many factors were cited as contributing to employees feeling stressed, including unrealistic expectations and unmanageable workloads. Regardless of how it manifests itself within the working environment it can have a negative impact on employee wellbeing, with over 1 in 10 (12 percent) missing at least 52 family events or personal commitments each year.
Kelly Feehan, Services Director at CABA commented: ‘At a time when the job market is extremely competitive and highly-skilled employees are in short supply, it’s imperative that organisations look after their staff. With productivity a high priority for business leaders, paying more attention to employee happiness and wellbeing will not only reduce instances of low productivity and absenteeism, but help to engage the workplace too.
‘Losing staff because they feel stressed, unhappy and demotivated can be avoided if businesses develop a strategy which incorporates wellbeing initiatives alongside career development and, above all, nurtures a positive company culture. Looking after the physical and emotional health of staff members can no longer be just a box-ticking exercise if companies want to attract and retain the best talent.’
The survey also discovered the amount of time that employees spend working outside of their contracted hours, with many regularly clocking up extra hours. In fact, of those surveyed almost 2 in 5 (38 percent) regularly work on their days off, including putting in hours at the weekend, on annual leave and during public holidays.
This negative habit is most likely amongst 18-24-year olds, the supposed snowflake generation, with over half (53 percent) admitting to working on their days off. When compared with the data of workers over 55, there was a stark difference with only 31 percent admitting to this.
Kelly Feehan concluded: ‘There’s an increased demand in today’s ‘always on’ workplace culture; it’s no longer just a place where employees turn up, do a job and go home. The separation just isn’t there anymore.
“This is demonstrated by 22 percent of employees revealing they check their work emails during the evenings and weekends, highlighting the common belief that you need to be constantly connected to the office. This is an expectation that needs eradicating if we’re to have a happy, healthy and productive workforce.’