Seven and a Half Day Working Week for IT Workers

 

  • IT employees fit 7.5 days work into working week
  • Over a third of IT workers have seen workloads increase since last year
  • Job cuts and lean team structures having main impact on employees
  • One in two unable to switch off from work while on holiday

Employees in the IT industry are each fitting the equivalent of 7.5 work days into the working week, according to Randstad, the UK sector specialist recruiter.

In a survey of over 2,000 British employees[i], Randstad found that on average IT workers feel they currently have to perform the job of one and a half people. This means they are covering 50% more work than one person should be – the equivalent of fitting an extra two and a half work days into the working week. In comparison the average British professional feels they currently have to perform the job of 1.3 people meaning they are covering 30% more work than one person should be.

While a third of IT workers feel their workload is suitable for one person, more than one in four (26%) feel that in an ideal world their role would need one full time and one part-time member of staff. Nearly one in five (17%) believe their role needs two full-time people to manage the level of work while 14% feel their role really needs at least two full-time members of staff as well as an additional one part-time person.

Over a third (34.5%) of employees in the sector feel they are working harder now than they were twelve months ago while only one in five workers (19.5%) feel their workloads have eased over this period.

27% of all workers in the sector specify job cuts as one of the key contributors to their increased workload while another 27% said it was down to their organisation keeping teams lean during the economic recovery. One in every four (25%) IT employees feel their workloads have risen because of the need to do more to keep their job secure.

 Mike Beresford, managing director of Randstad Technologies, said: “The IT industry is under immense pressure. With the economic outlook so uncertain it’s understandable that management are keeping workforces as lean as possible. Unfortunately, this isn’t a sustainable model.

 “Making fewer people work harder can improve the bottom line initially, but in the long-run, spreading the workforce too thin leads to burnout, mistakes and lower productivity. Not something the sector needs at the moment.”

Workload taking its toll

The rise in workload is taking its toll on the IT workforce. One in five workers (22%) feel more stressed now than they did six months ago, a third (32%) said work is making them more tired than six months ago and one in ten (10%) have rows at home because of work worries or stress.

Holidays unable to ease pressure

Rising stress and work worries also mean that holidays are unable to provide suitable respite. Over half (56%) of IT employees don’t feel they can completely switch off from work when on holiday with one in five (21%) of workers stating they know that clearing the backlog of work from their time away will make them feel like they’ve had no break at all.

Mike Beresford adds: “Being able to take a break and switch off from work is vital for productivity but this year the holiday season has stretched IT sector to the limit. Balancing headcount costs and the risk of a burnt out workforce is difficult at the best of times but it is especially hard during August. Human error has been highlighted as a cause for delay or mistakes in a number of major IT systems failures recently. Contract IT labour can ensure projects remain on track and prevent increased workload for permanent staff returning from holiday without significantly increasing fixed costs or commercial risk.”

– ENDS –

 


[i] Research of 2001 consumers conducted by Canadean Research between 23rd and 30th July 2012 – further details available on request

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Seven and a Half Day Working Week for Construction, Property & Engineering Workers

  • Construction, property and engineering (CPE) employees fit 7.5 days work into working week
  • Two fifths of CPE workers have seen workloads increase since last year
  • Job cuts and lean team structures having main impact on employees
  • One in two unable to switch off from work while on holiday

Employees in the construction, property and engineering (CPE) industry are each covering the workloads of one full-time and one part-time person, according to Randstad, the UK sector specialist recruiter.

In a survey of over 2,000 British employees[i], Randstad found that construction, property and engineering workers feel they currently have to perform the job of one and a half people. This means they are covering 50% more work than one person should be – the equivalent of fitting an extra two and a half work days into the working week. In comparison the average British worker feels they currently have to perform the job of 1.3 people meaning they are covering 30% more work than one person should be.

While a third of CPE workers feel their workload is suitable for one person, one in four (24%) feel that in an ideal world their role would need one full time and one part-time member of staff. Similarly, another one in four (25%) believe their role needs two full-time people to manage the level of work and one in ten (10%) feel their role really needs at least two full-time members of staff as well as an additional one part-time person.

Two fifths (43%) of employees in the sector feel they are working harder now than they were twelve months ago while only one in twenty workers (6%) feel their workloads have eased over this period.

31% of all workers in the sector specify job cuts as one of the key contributors to their increased workload while 23% said it was down to their organisation keeping teams lean during the economic recovery.

Owen Goodhead, managing director of Randstad CPE, said: “The construction, property and engineering industry is under immense pressure during these tough financial times. With the economic outlook so uncertain it’s understandable that management are keeping workforces as lean as possible. Unfortunately, this isn’t a sustainable model.

“Making fewer people work harder can improve the bottom line initially, but in the long-run, spreading the workforce too thin leads to burnout, mistakes and lower productivity. Not something the sector needs at the moment.”

Workload taking its toll

The rise in workload is taking its toll on the CPE workforce. One in five workers (19%) feel more stressed now than they did six months ago, a third (30%) said it takes longer to switch off at the weekends than it did six months ago and one in ten (10%) are experiencing tension in their home life because of work worries or stress.

Holidays unable to ease pressure

Rising stress and work worries also mean that holidays are unable to provide suitable respite. Over half (56%) of CPE employees don’t feel they can completely switch off from work when on holiday with one in five (18%) of workers stating they know that clearing the backlog of work from their time away will make them feel like they’ve had no break at all.

Owen Goodhead, adds: “Being able to take a break and switch off from work is vital for productivity but this year the holiday season has stretched the construction, property and engineering sectors to the limit. Balancing headcount costs and the risk of a burnt out workforce is difficult at the best of times but especially during August. The construction, property and engineering industries already use temporary and contract staff very effectively. Drafting in additional resource to cover holidays and bolstering lean teams during projects can be a flexible way to ease the burden for all sides, keeping the entire workforce motivated and productive. ”

– ENDS –

[i] Research of 2001 consumers conducted by Canadean Research between 23rd and 30th July 2012 – further details available on request

Spread Thin Britain – Summer Holidays No Longer Provide Teachers with a True Break

  • Teachers fit 6.5 days worth of work into working week
  • Nearly half of employees in education feel they are working harder than a year ago
  • Over two fifths education workers cannot switch off from work when on holiday

Workers in the education sector are each fitting the equivalent of an additional one and a half days work into the average working week, according to Randstad, the UK sector specialist recruiter.

In a survey of over 2,000 British employees[i], Randstad found that, on average, British teachers, lecturers and teaching assistants feel they currently have to perform the job of 1.3 people meaning they are covering 30% more work than one person should be; the equivalent of fitting an additional one and a half days worth of work into the ordinary working week. The education sector mirrors the national picture with the average British worker also feeling they cover the equivalent workload of 1.3 people.

While nearly two fifths (37%) of education workers feel their workload is suitable for one person, one in five (19%) feel that they are doing the work of one full time and one part-time member of staff. Similarly, another one in five (22%) believe their role needs two full-time people to manage the level of work and one in twenty-five (4%) feel they are doing the work of at least two full-time members of staff – as well as an additional one part-time person.

Nearly half (45%) of employees in the sector feel they are working harder now than they were twelve months ago while only 14% feel their workloads have eased over this period.

A third of employees (34%) said the extra work was down to an ever increasing focus on achievement levels and results as well as more responsibility, while nearly a quarter (23%) blamed job cuts. Nearly one in five (19%) said they were doing more work to ensure job security.

Jenny Rollinson, operations director of Randstad Education, said: “The education sector is under pressure to keep staffing levels as lean and as cost effective as possible. Cuts to funding and pressure to do more with less make this an understandable approach but it isn’t a sustainable model.

“Quite apart from the fact that those enrolled in educational organisations deserve the same level of attention as those who have gone before them, spreading the workforce too thin leads to burnout, mistakes and poor results in the long-run.”

Workload taking its toll

The rise in workload is taking its toll on the education workforce. 28% of employees feel more stressed now than they did six months ago, nearly two in five (37%) said it takes longer to switch off at the end of work than it did six months ago and over one in ten (13%) have rows at home because of work worries or stress.

Holidays unable to ease pressure

Rising stress and work worries also mean that holidays are unable to provide suitable respite. Over two fifths (44%) of education employees don’t feel they can completely switch off from work when on holiday with one in ten (11%) stating they know that  the work waiting for them on their return will make them feel like they’ve had no break at all.

Jenny Rollinson, adds: “The perception of those who don’t work in the education sector has always been that the long summer holidays are ample reward for the pressures that teachers face. The simple truth is that as these stresses increase, the holiday period is not providing enough respite. Traditionally, September is a slower period for the hire of supply teachers because permanent members of staff usually feel refreshed and can cope with the pace of a new term. If staffrooms remain too lean however, it’s likely that more and more schools will need the support of supply teachers far earlier on in the academic year.”

– ENDS –

[i] Research of 2001 consumers conducted by Canadean Research between 23rd and 30th July 2012 – further details available on request

Spread Thin Britain – British Workers Feeling the Strain

  • Financial Turnover per employee in the UK’s largest companies rises 13% in a year
  • Average British employee works the equivalent of a six and a half day work week
  • One in five say they are doing the work of at least two full-time people
  • One in ten unable to take holiday this summer because of work pressure
  • One in ten workers admits making mistakes at work because of tiredness or stress

British employees are working harder than they were one year ago according to research carried out by Randstad, the UK sector specialist recruiter.

Randstad looked at the latest full year results published by the twenty largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. The findings show that overall headcount has risen just 2.6% while overall revenue has grown 16% over the last twelve months. As a result, revenue per employee rose 13% over the year suggesting staff have been more productive and have been working harder (see Table 1).

In a separate survey of over 2,000 British employees working in businesses of all sizes[i], Randstad found that people feel they are working the equivalent of a six and a half day week in order to cope with increased workloads and reluctance from their employers to recruit additional staff.

On average, British workers feel they currently have to perform the job of 1.3 people meaning they are covering 30% more work than one person should be – the equivalent of one and a half additional work days every week.

While a third of British workers feel their workload is suitable for one person, one in five (22.5%) feel that in an ideal world their role would need one full time and one part-time member of staff. 18% believe their role needs two full-time people to manage the level of work and 5% feel their role really needs at least two full-time members of staff as well as an additional one part-time person.

Mark Bull of Randstad, said: “It’s clear that uncertainty in the economy and public austerity is exerting more and more pressure on organisations to keep their workforces as lean as possible. While this will help many of them navigate the choppy economic waters we’re currently experiencing, it isn’t a sustainable model.

“The majority of British workers are employed in small and medium sized business where trimming headcount and reallocating work has a disproportionate impact on employee workloads compared to the largest companies. This goes someway to explaining why the annual rise in revenue per employee in the UK’s largest companies is just 13% while the majority of employees of UK PLC feeling they’re working 30% harder than last year.

“Making fewer people work harder can improve the bottom line initially, but spreading the workforce too thin leads to burnout, mistakes and lower productivity in the long-run. Not something the UK economy needs at the moment.”

Workload taking its toll

The rise in workload is taking its toll on the British workforce. One in five workers (18%) feel more stressed now than they did six months ago, a third (31%) said it takes longer to switch off at the weekends than it did six months ago and one in ten (10%) have rows at home because of work worries or stress. Most worryingly for UK employers however, 11% of staff admit to making a mistake at work because of tiredness or stress.

Holidays unable to ease pressure

Rising stress and work worries also mean that holidays are unable to provide suitable respite. One in ten (12%) feel unable to take holiday this summer because of work pressure. And while a third (33%) of employees have been able to take two or more weeks off work for their main holiday this year, only a quarter of all professionals feel their main holiday provides a complete break from work which they will benefit from.

19% of workers said their colleagues are expected to cover their role on top of their own work while they’re on holiday with 22% saying their colleagues were expected to do enough to ‘keep things going’. Only one in twenty (5%) said their work is covered for them by a temporary member of staff.

Mark Bull, adds: “Being able to take a break and switch off from work is vital for productivity. However, the holiday season demonstrates just how stretched UK plc really is. The balance of controlling headcount costs versus the risks of a burnt out workforce making mistakes is tight at the best of times but during August the scales could tip at any time. Events such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and our athletes’ recent success at the Games can help to boost short-term moral and motivation but organisations need to keep those feelings going as long as possible. Using temporary staff to cover holidays, as well as bolstering lean teams during projects with interims or contractors, can be a flexible solution to ease the burden for all sides and keep an organisation’s permanent workforce more motivated, healthy and productive – a long-term benefit which far outweighs the short-term cost.”

Table 1

Analysis of the twenty largest companies in the FTSE 100 with headcount and revenue information available in their latest annual reports. While revenue is not an exact measure of how busy employees are, it does offer us a rough guide as to how much work the employees of a company are undertaking.

                   Headcount

 

Revenue

 

 

Company

 

2010/2011

 

2011/2012

%

Change

2010/2011 (GBP/USD millions)

2011/2012 (GBP/USD millions)

% Change

Royal Dutch Shell

97,000

90,000

-7.2%

368,056

470,171

27.7%

HSBC Holdings

307,000

298,000

-2.9%

80,014

83,461

4.3%

Vodafone Group

85,000

83,900

-1.3%

45,900

46,400

1.1%

BP

79,700

83,400

4.6%

30,255

38,646

27.7%

GlaxoSmithKline

114,016

130,390

14.4%

28,400

27,400

-3.5%

British American Tobacco

92,285

87,813

-4.8%

14,883

15,399

3.5%

SABMiller

70,000

70,000

0.0%

28,311

31,388

10.9%

Diageo

23,287

23,786

2.1%

12,958

13,232

2.1%

BG Group

6,238

6,625

6.2%

17,363

21,148

21.8%

Rio Tinto

77,000

68,000

-11.7%

13,987

15,549

11.2%

BHP Billiton

39,570

40,757

3.0%

52,798

71,739

35.9%

AstraZeneca

61,000

57,200

-6.2%

33,269

33,591

1.0%

Standard Chartered

85,231

86,865

1.9%

16,062

17,637

9.8%

Unilever

167,000

171,000

2.4%

44,262

46,467

5.0%

Tesco

472,000

519,671

10.1%

67,600

72,000

6.5%

Reckitt Benckiser Group

27,200

37,800

39.0%

8,453

9,485

12.2%

Xstrata

38,561

40,391

4.7%

30,499

33,877

11.1%

Imperial Tobacco Group

38,300

38,200

-0.3%

28,173

29,223

3.7%

National Grid

27,089

25,546

-5.7%

14,007

14,343

2.4%

Lloyds Banking Group

104,230

104,000

-0.2%

23,986

21,466

-10.5%

Total

2,011,707

2,063,344

2.6%

959,236

1,112,622

16.0%

[i] Research of 2001 consumers conducted by Canadean Research between 23rd and 30th July 2012 – further details available on request

Wriglesworth Vlog: Paper Summary for 21st August 2012

The key macro-economic, personal finance, property and recruitment stories from today’s papers, read by Wriglesworth Junior Account Manager Laura Scarrott

Tuesday’s Papers

Economics

Goldman Sachs has predicted that revisions to GDP due on Friday will show that output shrank more slowly than previously thought over the second quarter. It believes GDP will be revised to show a fall of 0.5%, less than the original 0.7%. Capital Economics have even predicted the figures could be revised to show positive growth when taking into account the bank holidays, CityAM

Property

Bovis Homes chief executive, David Ritchie, has said the Government’s plan to shake up social housing requirements for housebuilders would heap further pressure on the sector. He questions whether finding more private buyers, to fill the void left by social housing, could be problematic without the support of the banks and a move towards increased lending, FT

PF

Free banking has been labelled a myth by Which?, the consumer watchdog. It says banks are recouping money from ‘free’ accounts by charging customers hefty fees for going overdrawn, agreed overdrafts and withdrawing money overseas. M&S is set to become the first UK bank to abandon free accounts when it starts charging a monthly fee in Autumn, FT

Recruitment

Tesco may be fined after the UK Border Agency found it was employing foreign students for more hours than allowed on their visas, CityAM