Brexit Blues: workplace stress surges as managers work 44 days extra per year

LLB Reporter

Source: © Photoshot

New stats point out 

Managers are continuing to put in long working weeks far beyond their contracted hours and are suffering high-levels of work-related stress, according to the latest research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). 

Of the 1,037 managers surveyed for the report, the average boss puts in an extra day each week.  This is an extra 7.5 hours beyond their contracted weekly hours (44.4 hours actual compared to 37.3 contracted), adding up to an extra 43.8 days over the course of the year. This is up from 39.6 days in 2015.

The rising gap between contracted and actual hours of work is in addition to an ‘always on’ digital culture, with 59 per cent of managers saying they ‘frequently’ check their emails outside of work – up from 54 per cent in 2015. 

Long hours and this constant communication are having a detrimental effect on the wellbeing of managers. One in ten managers  took time off for mental health in the last year, and for those who do take time out, it’s for an average of 12 days.

The OECD has previously estimated the cost of mental health to the UK economy as some £70bn, or 4.5 per cent of GDP in lost productivity, benefits and business costs. At a time when UK productivity remains 22.3 per cent lower than France and 25.6 per cent lower than Germany*, CMI is calling on employers to do far more in 2018 to manage the impact of rising hours and digital technology.

The survey also reveals that the lead-up to Brexit is causing work-related headaches for a significant number of managers. One in four (25 per cent) report that it has decreased their sense of job security. Similar numbers highlight a decrease in morale and overall psychological wellbeing (23 per cent and 22 per cent respectively), with 14 per cent directly attributing a rise in working hours to Brexit, and saying that it has reduced their motivation at work.

Petra Wilton, director of strategy at the CMI, says: “The impact of Brexit and the continuing political uncertainty is clearly contributing to managers’ workplace woes.  Not only are they facing longer working weeks and the ‘always-on’ culture that new technologies enable, but the uncertainties of Brexit are clearly starting to undermine their job security and sense of well-being.  It’s hardly surprising that mental health problems and workplace stress is rising as a consequence.”

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