Managers report rise in presenteeism and unpaid overtime

Job satisfaction down among managers

UK managers are doing more unpaid overtime, reporting lower job satisfaction and seeing growing incidence of presenteeism among their staff since the recession, according to a joint report by the Chartered Management Institute and Simplyhealth.

The Quality of Working Life 2012 report found that the average manager now works 46 days unpaid over time per year, up from 40 days in 2007.

Some 60% of those working overtime said they feel they have no choice to do so because of the volume of work, and 29% are working long hours because job cuts have increased their workload.

Furthermore, job satisfaction among managers has declined from 62% in 2007 to 55% in 2012.

Meanwhile, ‘presenteeism’ is on the rise with 43% of respondents saying they believe staff don’t take sick leave when they are ill, up from 32% in 2007. Managers also believe organisations are less tolerant of people taking sick leave.

In addition, 42% of managers reported suffering from stress symptoms in 2012, up from 35% in 2007.

Howard Hughes, head of employer marketing at Simplyhealth, said: “When it comes to health and wellbeing in the workplace, illness levels have increased, but managers seem less likely to take time off work when they are genuinely ill.

“It looks like presenteeism is another symptom of high levels of organisational change. We’d urge all organisations to ensure they have programmes in place to encourage employees to be proactive about caring for their health – this kind of good management will increase productivity, and ultimately the bottom line.” 

Professor Cary L. Cooper CBE, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University Management School and co-author of the report, said it is not surprising that the recession has led to greater ill health among managers as they struggle to cope with heavier workloads and longer hours.

He added: “The massive rise of presenteeism, managers coming earlier and staying later at work, as well as coming to work when ill, is making the situation much worse.”

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