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Employees are working harder for longer, survey finds

Thursday 11th October 2012

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More than a third of employees are working more than 51 hours a week, putting them at risk of burnout and reflecting a project-driven work environment, employment consultant Hudson says.

"Many businesses are 'flying while they build the plane'," says Roman Rogers, general manager of Hudson New Zealand.

The latest employment trends survey by his firm revealed that 29.6 percent of employers were experiencing increased employee burnout, he said.

About 26 percent of employees say they are working longer hours than they were a year ago with 72 percent citing demands from projects.

A decrease in team size was only cited by 22 percent of people and half said they were working harder because customers were demanding more.

About 59 percent of employers intend to keep staffing levels steady, while 31 percent intend to employ more people. Hiring intentions are highest in the South Island.

Rogers said many companies in Canterbury were trying to maintain their business as usual whilst gearing up for the rebuild.

Often the qualities needed to be successful in a project-driven context were different compared to a business-as-usual environment.

Rogers said there was more risk of employee burnout if projects were not managed effectively.

Hudson recommends that employers clarify the expectations of employees.

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