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Managers Enjoy Their Work

February 7 2006 - Stress levels among senior managers are declining, their work-life balance is improving and more people are working long hours because they enjoy their jobs, according to Roffey Park's Management Agenda 2006 survey.

With heavy workloads and the longest working hours in Europe and while it is no secret that this is due to heavy workloads, it also seems that a majority (6 out of 10) of British senior managers work long hours simply because they enjoy their jobs. The survey of 967 middle and senior managers also reports lower stress levels and a more satisfactory work-life balance.

A staggering 85% of respondents said they worked consistently longer than their contracted working week. Of these, nearly a quarter (24%) of men - compared to 8% of women - said they worked an extra 15 hours per week. Apart from enjoying their work, the reasons given for working longer hours than contracted included:

  • having a heavy workload (65%)
  • needing to work long hours to be successful (26%)
  • being expected to by senior managers (12%), and
  • doing so simply because others do (6%)

Stress

The survey also found a reduction in reported work stress for the first time in recent years. Two-thirds (67%) claimed to have experienced stress in 2006 compared with 78% in 2005, 74% in 2004 and 70% in 2003. However, public sector managers had a higher level of reported work stress (72%) than those in other sectors.

Commitment

In the 2006 report, for the first time, a majority (57%) of respondents said that their senior managers were committed to achieving a work-life balance, compared to a mere 33% in 2005. Additionally, the number of senior managers and leaders practising a work-life balance has increased from 22% in 2005 to 32% in 2006. Women were the most likely to have different perceptions of work-life balance - 69% of women felt that senior managers were more committed to achieving a work-life balance compared to only 48% of men.

Loyalty

The research showed evidence of organisational loyalty from managers with 82% of respondents feeling quite committed or very committed to their organisation and 57% saying they are prepared to go the extra mile to get things done. Over two-thirds (69%) also believed that their organisations are committed to them in return.

Motivation

The report also looked at major motivators and demotivators in the workplace. The most significant motivators include:

  • Making a difference (88%)
  • Job enjoyment (79%)
  • Personal achievement (75%)

Demotivators include:

  • Lack of recognition (43%)
  • Lack of time to achieve workload (41%)
  • Bureaucracy (40%)

Dr Valerie Garrow, Principal Researcher at Roffey Park and co-author of The Management Agenda, commented: "Managers continue to work long hours, but many say they do so because, as well as dealing with heavy workloads, they enjoy their job. People are clearly motivated by making a difference and having a sense of achievement in the workplace and they are prepared to go the extra mile to get the job done."

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