With working weeks getting longer, employees are increasingly suffering from being overworked. Richard MacKinnon explains that employers are particularly at risk in the current economic environment.
Despite an overall decrease in working hours in the UK from 2000 to 2007, the average British working week is once again getting longer. Overwork, and the stress that results, can be debilitating and in some rare cases be a cause of death. In Japan, they’ve gone as far as naming the phenomenon of dying from overwork as Karoshi.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has found the trend most pronounced in the finance, retail, automotive and construction sectors. All of these industries are experiencing harder times due to the worsening economic climate in the UK, which may explain a certain degree of organisational belt-tightening and a renewed focus on cost reduction.