Long hours fail to boost productivity

MANAGERS in East Anglia regularly work more than their contracted hours, amounting on average to 40 unpaid days per year, a report by the Chartered Management Institute has found.

MANAGERS in East Anglia regularly work more than their contracted hours, amounting on average to 40 unpaid days per year, a report by the Chartered Management Institute has found.

The data, released in support of the TUC's “Work Your Proper Hours” campaign, also indicates that the extra hours do not add up to increased productivity.

Some of the key findings of the CMI's “Quality of Working Life” study, include:

· The vast majority (88%) of managers in East Anglia regularly work over their contracted hours, down by just 3% from 2000.


You may also want to watch:


· The average manager works one hour 18 minutes over contract each day, equivalent to approximately 40 days per year, or 184 million days each year for the UK's management population.

· Only one in three managers works the excess hours by choice - most in the region (53%) say they do so to meet deadlines or because of the volume of work they face.

Most Read

· 39% of managers in East Anglia believe the UK's long hours culture adversely affects their productivity and 36% argue that working excessively hits morale.

· On a more personal level, more than half (59%) in the region claim that working over contracted hours limits their exercise time, and 32% say working extra hours prevents them from developing skills.

Significantly, the Quality of Working Life report found that managers do not blame their bosses for the longer hours they work. Most said they do it to meet the demands of the job; only 2% said they feel “pressurised to do it” by over-bearing bosses.

Women are more able to control their workload, according to the study's findings. Only 16% of women in full-time employment, compared with 35% of men, work over 48 hours per week, and just 3% of female respondents admitted to working more than 60 hours a week, compared with 7% of men.

Jo Causon, CMI's director of marketing and corporate affairs, said: “The perpetual cycle of taking out costs in recent years has meant that most organisations are driven to use their assets - particularly their people - more intensively.

“Yet it is clearly having a negative effect and will create long-term problems for organisations unless the UK's long hours culture is kept in check.”

Further analysis of the data, published in association with Simplyhealth, shows many managers are reluctant to take time off when they are ill. The average manager is absent from work through illness just 3.5 days per year, which means that for every day lost to sickness employers receive 11.5 days 'free of charge'.

“Many organisations focus on the cost of absence to their organisations yet are not addressing the root causes of absenteeism” said Ms Causon.

“Surely in today's results-driven environment, output is more important than input, so two questions need to be answered: why are employers ignoring the impact of long hours on the health and performance of their employees and what responsibility are employees taking for how they manage themselves?”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus