Long Working Hours, Overtime and Heavy Workload Having Adverse Effects on Managers’, Study Reveals.


A recent study into the quality of working lives, conducted by London’s Chartered Management Institute, produced some startling results. The aim of the study was to explore the well being, motivation and productivity levels of Managers; to determine contributing attributes that affect these factors; and to provide a solution to these issues. The report demonstrates the impact that leadership and organisational structure has on health and well-being. The results from the study aim to provide lessons and insights into what managers can do to improve their working life, and what line managers and directors can do in helping managers achieve a healthy working environment.

Some of the key issues that became apparent within the study is that digital presenteeism is having an adverse effect on managers; long hours are increasing stress levels – and even cancelling out annual leave entitlement; and workload is impacting on health and well-being. This being said, job satisfaction levels have increased from 55% in 2012 to 67% in 2015.

The Age of Digital Presenteeism: High connectivity = High stress

61% of Managers reported that they find it difficult to switch off from work commitments due to accessibility to emails. Remote access and connectivity to office functions, have been widely appraised by Managing Directors in a bid to reduce lost working hours due to absenteeism and unusual circumstances e.g. weather, however remote access is having adverse effects on Managers. 61% say that technology makes it hard to switch off, furthering this – those who struggle to switch off reported lower productivity levels and job satisfaction, and more frequent stress. In a bid to reduce the adverse effects of technology, 39% believe that out-of-hours, remote access to emails should be restricted by their employers.

Long Working Hours Cancels out Annual Leave Entitlement

A staggering 92% of managers work longer than their contracted hours. ‘Always on’ management is beginning to take its toll on UK Managers, with a staggering average of 29 days extra work a year in additional unpaid overtime, annual leave entitlement is being cancelled out by overtime all-together. 54% of Managers stated that long working hours are having a negative impact on them, however this is a 5% decrease from 2012. It is reported that stress is 3 times more common among those working longer hours, supporting this, 20% of those working over 3 hours extra per day said they often feel stressed.

The Effects of Workload on Health, Well-being and Motivation

The majority of Managers’ report a negative impact on their health and well-being due to workload.  The list of health implications that workload is having include mood swings, lack of appetite and overeating, and even depression and panic or anxiety attacks. Sleep loss tops this list with 57% reporting insomnia and muscle aches, followed by headaches and constant irritability. Managers in the public sector are currently facing significant organisational challenges including low motivation, productivity and job satisfaction. Motivation in private sectors, however, remain higher. This also applies to those organisations experiencing internal growth.

The Implications of Poor Management Strategy

The worst perceived management styles generate 4 times more stress than the best perceived management styles. According to the report, the ‘worst’ styles include secretive, risk-averse and authoritarian management styles; however, accessible, empowering and trusting methods of management come out on top as the most favorable styles of management. The favored methods drive job satisfaction levels up to 2.5 times more than the less-preferred methods. It was reported that the top engagement drivers are as follows:

  1. The sense of achievement you get from your job
  2. Your sense of feeling part of a team
  3. Your relationship with your manager
  4. Your ability to decide how to complete your projects and tasks
  5. Your prospects for career enhancement.

Job Satisfaction on the Up

In contrast to the disheartening figures and statistics, job satisfaction is improving. 67% of managers overall are satisfied with their job – a significant increase from 55% in 2012, and a further 62% in 2007. One would wonder how this can be the case, given the unfavorable figures. However, there are some factors that significantly contribute to satisfaction. 39% reported that their satisfaction was down to growth of the organisation. 79% feel that their line manager trusts them, with a further 61% stating that they feel fairly treated by their employer. And finally, 76% say they are proud to work for their employer and believe in the values of the organisation.

Read our 5 steps to improving Managers’ well-being here. 

What Candidates Respond Well to During the Interview Process

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You’re recruiting for a new employee and you want to really get the most out of the process and hire the best candidate in the most effective and efficient way. You have your hiring goals and business objectives in mind and obviously want to do what’s best for your organisation. However, it’s important to remember that your candidates are interviewing you too. They’re testing out whether your company is a good fit for them and whether the role you’re offering matches their expectations. To help you attract the best and keep the attention of the best candidates, we’ve suggested a few pointers.

Good Communication
One of the frustrations of candidates during the hiring process is the lack of communication from employers. Spending time perfecting a CV, completing an application form and particularly preparing for an interview takes time and effort, so if they’re not successful or there is a hold-up of any kind, keep them updated and offer a proper explanation. Once you have selected your interview hopefuls, providing them with adequate information to allow them to prepare is only fair. Do you have any further resources that would allow your candidates to swot up about your organisation? Or could you provide details on what to expect during the interview?

Make Them Feel Comfortable
Your interview candidates are your guests, so making them feel comfortable in a situation where they’re likely to be nervous should allow them to open up and enjoy the experience as much as possible. A friendly tone and attention to the small things can make all the difference; for example offering candidates a drink or explaining what’s going to happen next should help to put them at ease. Initial icebreaker conversations and chit-chat are another way to help your candidates settle in, offer introductions to everyone they will be meeting that day, don’t rush and try to minimise distractions.

Show Them You’re Interested
Treat each candidate like they’re you’re best candidate. If a candidate has a bad experience at an interview or is not made to feel welcome or valued they’re less likely to want the job, but also less likely to speak positively about the company to others.  So do your research, read their CV or application form and don’t duplicate this information when asking questions; if you ask what university they went to, they’ll know you haven’t done your research.

Provide a Realistic Job Preview
The interview is a great time to show candidates around, allow them to meet the team and get a real feel for your business culture. So as well as going into detail about the role and its requirements so candidates know what they can expect if successful, it’s a time to really sell your organisation.

Ask Open Questions
The kind of interview questions you ask will depend entirely on the role you’re recruiting for, however open questions that encourage candidates to tell a bit of a story are often well received. Questions such as “what is something you’d be happy doing every single day for the rest of your career?” or “what’s the biggest decision you’ve had to make in the past year and why was it so big?” give candidates an opportunity to talk about something they’re passionate about. Their answers may also give you a good feel for their personality and charisma.

For support and advice during your organisation’s interview process contact Langley James’s recruiting experts who are available to help you every step of the way.

Women in Technology: Tackling the Skills Gap


It was reported last week that a recent study showed that women are better at coding than men. It comes from a study into the service GitHub – an online software building service of which over 12-million people use to “discover, fork, and contribute to over 31 million projects.” (GitHub, 2016). The study suggested that pull requests – or suggested code changes – made by women were more likely to be accepted, with a 78.6% rate, than those made by men, with a mere 74.6% rate. Gender information is not requested, and often unidentifiable, however was identified for the study through profile information or email addresses cross matched with Google+. The study suggested that there may be a bias when it comes to gender. Women’s acceptance rates were higher than men’s, however only when using gender neutral profiles within the developer community of GitHub. The figures dropped drastically to 62.5% when their gender is identifiable.

This mirrors the current employment climate. Huffington Post Tech UK, 2015 reported that only 17% of the IT industry is made up by women. This is an unsurprising figure, given than women reportedly earn around 25% less than men in the IT industry. Pair these stats to the fact that the current skills gap is due to increase to 745,000 by 2017, and 1-million by 2020, it becomes appallingly evident that this is not just a diversity issue, but an economic one too.

There is no easy solution for the issue. Gender imbalance is one that has been ongoing for centuries, and unfortunately the commendable efforts and initiatives aimed at tackling bias seems to be failing to reduce these gaps. In a bid to close inequalities, encouraging women into technology from an early age is crucial. Egnyte CSO Isabelle Guis commented on education, “I believe a major reason that we are seeing more men than women working in the technology industry is education. There are fewer women in technology graduate programmes and in the marketplace because STEM subjects are still perceived by some to be ‘male’ subjects.”

Although the figures may appear disheartening, the discussion of women in technology has been far more prevalent in recent months, and the skills gap has truly brought to life the urgency of encouraging people of all ages and genders into the tech industry. These figures certainly give women wanting to pursue a career in tech the push they may need, and the technology industry reason to open doors for women, whilst contributing to narrowing the ever growing skills gap. Could 2016 see a boom in women in technology?

4 Reasons Why CIOS Must Look Past Dated, Legacy Systems

The core challenge of business intelligence has always revolved around a debate of holding onto centralised IT systems that deliver complete control and governance, and the solutions of tomorrow that can deliver better intelligence, although requiring a release of the typical governance control that older systems provide. This choice is then a stark one, yet these four reasons make the case all the stronger for moving away from legacy systems.

  1. Businesses will outgrow their systems

The pace of change within the modern business is only becoming ever faster; manufacturing departments can require the processing of thousands of parts, components and materials, dealing with an innumerable amount of suppliers; this department is supported by logistics planning that depends upon supplies where commodities fluctuate hour by hour, and HR departments need to account for millennials and the younger generations who are entering the jobs marketing and contributing to higher rates of employee churn. The strain of all this upon IT systems of old is unbearable, with these old school solutions failing to deliver the complex analytics that such business operations command.

  1. The analytic capacities of desktop tools that work alongside legacy systems are not only lacking, but leading to potential business disasters

The analytics solutions that have been tacked onto legacy systems have been designed to meet the needs of varying departments, however such systems have placed the importance of speed over and above accuracy, as well as aesthetics and ease of use over capability. Quite simply put this will lead to intelligence that is incorrect, resulting in business decisions where the incorrect choices are made.

  1. Legacy systems are simply throwing good money after bad

Legacy systems are inherently difficult to maintain and manage, and whilst transferring to a modern business intelligent solution comes along with what can be an intimidating price tag (as well as extensive soft costs, most significance of which is training) the eventual costs, both in terms of implementation, as well as the implication upon business decisions, come in far below the option of continuing with an outdated alternative.

  1. CIOS have the chance to opt for a data-driven culture, rather than data that lacks integrity

CIOs have a chance to truly drive for change, they can drive down cost whilst investing in BI solutions that deliver value; this compares to continuing with legacy systems that will only continue to provide ever less accurate data, leading to their companies falling behind within the commercial world. What’s more within this newly established data-driven culture, and with the right platform, the previous pressure placed upon systems by reports and analytics can achieve saved resources that may be better spent upon other projects.

James Langley are the go-to recruitment specialists for IT talent that delivers the business intelligence solutions tomorrow, today; through the right people, placed within the right positions, they are helping their clients ensure that dated IT systems are a thing of the past.