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More than half of employees think the current economic difficulties are making both them and their colleagues feel stressed, with many also feeling their employers are illequipped to deal with the situation.
This is according to the latest Health of the Workplace report from Aviva Risk Management Solutions (formerly Norwich Union Risk Services). Echoing TUC concerns that the credit crunch has led to a return of the long-hours culture, James Draper, principal consultant for ARMS, said: “Longer working hours can cause severe problems, such as musculoskeletal and cardiovascular disorders, chronic infections, depression, stress and diabetes, as well as high blood pressure.”
To avoid such developments, Draper advised organisations to keep an eye on those who are struggling to cope: “Consider flexible working patterns and, if possible, increase resources and decrease workloads. Firms should be setting a good example in these tough times by not encouraging staff to ignore working-time legislation and steering clear of linking pay scales to increased hours and work loads. Training and development programmes should be implemented to improve time management and delegation. Top management commitment should also be encouraged to change the business culture to raise awareness of the issue.”