54% say working hours negatively affect stress levels


More than half (54%) of manager-respondents believe that working hours are having a negative effect on their stress levels, according to research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Its study, The quality of working life, which is based on 1,574 responses from managers, also revealed that 20% of respondents who work over three hours extra a day are often stressed, compared to just 6% of those working no additional hours.

The research also found:

  • 76% of respondents are proud to work for their employer, compared to 64% in 2012. The same number believe in the values of their organisation, and 61% feel fairly treated by their employer, up from 54% in 2012.
  • 57% of respondents suffer from headaches and constant irritability due to their workload.
  • 61% say technology makes it difficult to switch off from work, and one in five (20%) respondents check their email all the time outside of working hours while 54% check it frequently.
  • 39% of respondents agree that their employer should restrict out-of-hours email access, including 43% of those who check email all the time.
  • 68% of respondents who rate themselves as less than 70% productive say technology has made it hard for them to switch off from work, compared to 56% of those who are more than 90% productive.

Ann Francke (pictured), chief executive at the Chartered Management Institute, said: “The ‘always-on’ culture is having a deleterious effect on the health of managers. Many report suffering increased stress and associated problems, such as persistent headaches and insomnia.

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“The impact on managers’ work is great: the longer the hours they put in, the less productive they say they become. This should be a big flashing warning light for employers.

“Helping managers to strike the necessary work-life balance must be a priority for every organisation facing up to the challenge of improving productivity.