Nearly half of all staff say they cannot work any harder

Nearly half of all staff say they cannot work any harder

British workers are working harder than they did 12 months ago – although they are reaping the rewards, according to a new study.

The survey of 2,000 staff by recruitment firm Randstad found that 43 per cent of employees said they cannot work harder than they are doing now.

This figure compares with 30 per cent who said the same thing last year, which could perhaps indicate that people are pushing themselves more, despite the economy being better off now.

In further proof that UK employees are becoming increasingly overstretched, 53 per cent told researchers that they are currently doing more than one person's role, an increase of eight per cent compared with 12 months earlier.

On average, workers have to cover the tasks of 1.4 staff members, which works out as the equivalent of working seven days a week.

Chief executive of Randstad UK and Middle East Mark Bull said: "There is little doubt UK employees services are working harder than ever. Spread-thin Britain is being stretched even thinner."

He added that the situation is such because firms have been unwilling to take on more staff because of the fragile state of the economy in recent times and as a result, they have been passing on the extra workload to existing employees.

One thing some companies have been doing to offset the added pressure on workers is granting them more flexibility – taking advantage of things like conference call facilities to allow them to work from home while still keeping in touch with the office.

A benefit of the increasing number of tasks that employees are having to perform is that some are seeing their careers benefit as a consequence.

In the financial services sector for example, 23 per cent said that putting in the hours had helped them gain a promotion, which 13 per cent also thought it had aided them in securing a pay rise.