Avaya Research Reveals the Hidden Dangers of Overworking
New Avaya research has shed light on the extent to which an over commitment to work can negatively impact employees’ personal lives. According to a survey of 700 senior managers in small and medium businesses (SMEs) conducted Summer 2011 in the UK and Germany, a staggering 81 per cent of people have experienced negative consequences as a result of devoting too much time to the business, rather than to other areas of their life. Conversely, 83 per cent of sufferers say flexible working has helped ease these sorts of problems for them personally, signalling that businesses can aid employees in improving their work-life balance and productivity significantly through flexibility-boosting communications tools.
The findings come from independent research commissioned by Avaya, a global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions, into the impact of flexible working on SMEs in Germany and the UK. They reveal that the consequences suffered go beyond the typical daily stresses of office life. While well over half (56%) endure stress, in fact a third (33%) have suffered from poor health; over a quarter (27%) of people admit to marriage or relationship problems and a tenth say their dedication to work has actually resulted in divorce or separation. Furthermore, almost a fifth (18%) of parents admit to missing out on their kids’ school activities such as sports days and awards ceremonies, as a result of an inflexible work regime.
These figures suggest that although businesses have made great strides in helping employees to achieve a better work-life balance through flexible working policies, the practice is not as prevalent as it should be. Over three quarters (76%) of SMEs offer employees some degree of flexible working, yet overall people spend an average 74% of their working week chained to their desks.Continued on the next page