UK employees feel over worked, underpaid and under pressure


Half (51%) of UK employees – about 15 million people – have admitted to feeling pressurised or exhausted by work according to the new Britain at Work Study conducted by Lansons and Opinium Research.

The research found that employees regularly work over their contracted hours and sacrifice family and personal life as a result.

A third (30%) of British employees feel they don’t have enough time to do their job effectively, and as well as working overtime, many do not take full lunch breaks (31%), cancel family events (17%) or even miss holidays (16%) due to their work.

So is this extra work worth the effort? The report found that nearly two thirds (63%) of employees have good working relationships with their managers, while 60% think their working environment is a good place to be and feel secure in their jobs.

Nevertheless, employees feel that they are not receiving adequate career progression and training, with over a quarter (28%) saying their manager does not regularly monitor their performance or offer enough feedback. Meanwhile nearly a half (48%) see little or no opportunity to progress.

The result is a disengaged or passive workforce – 39% of respondents said of their loyalty to their workforce that they would leave tomorrow if they had another job offer.   

More positively, Britain is seeing a shift back to a landscape where employees can once again anticipate pay rises. Over half (55%) of workers reported pay rises last year, and 44% feel they are fairly paid.

Scott McKenzie, director of Lansons’ Change & Employee Engagement practice comments: “A prouder, more engaged UK workforce would surely be more productive and profitable, adding significantly to the UK economy. Employers need to do more to engage the workforce, but employees also have their part to play in bringing themselves to work.”

“The report highlights some important actions for both for employees and employers, including creating and increase training and development opportunities, providing a safe and pleasant working environment, implementing people friendly policies, implementing appropriate recognition and reward schemes, providing fair pay, and ensuring clear and consistent two-way communications.”

“However there is only so much line managers, leaders and organisations can do. The rest is about all of us taking increased, individual responsibility.”