Spread-thin technology professionals are working harder than they were twelve months ago, but their careers have benefited as a result, according to detailed research released by Randstad Technologies, the sector specialist recruiter.
In a study of 2,000 British employees working in businesses of all sizes, Randstad Technologies found that 49% of technology employees are now working hard and say they cannot work any harder –slightly above the national average (43%).
Technology employees have seen the biggest increase in their workloads over the past twelve months with 54% saying their workload has increased since this time last year.
The Progression Recession
But heavier workloads have brought rewards for high-flying technology staff. It has allowed the most capable workers to progress quicker, develop their skill set rapidly, and gain financial rewards. 27% of technology workers say a heavy workload has helped them secure a promotion, 21% believe it has helped them get a pay rise, and 34% think it has improved their skill set. In total, 65% of technology workers say a heavier workload since the recession has benefited their career – considerably higher than the UK average of 47%.
Mike Beresford, managing director of Randstad Technologies, said: "There is little doubt people in the technology sector are working harder than ever. Spread-thin Britain is being stretched even thinner. Up until recently, firms were reluctant to take on staff because they were concerned the nascent economic recovery could be easily derailed. As a result, existing staff have taken on increasingly large workloads, particularly as the recovery has gained momentum and demand has increased.
"The downturn has been a progression recession, spawning a new breed of 'super-worker' that grafts extremely hard and has flown up the career ladder as a result. It has left the labour market – and the whole tech industry – in good shape. The technology sector is one of the most dynamic and rapidly expanding sectors in the UK. It is a high-growth area which is vital to the long-term health of the UK economy. Demand has increased in the sector, and employees now have to work harder than ever while their employers hire new staff to cope with the increase in new business. The workforce has been battle-hardened by the recession, which has left the UK with a core of highly-skilled high-fliers who can be the driving force behind growth in the tech sector."
Across the UK, Randstad found that 40% of people are working harder than one year ago. This time last year, just 30% of people said they were working harder than twelve months previously – indicating people are working harder despite the economy beginning to turn a corner.
On top of that, over half of UK employees (53%) admitted they have to do the job of more than one person, up from 45% twelve months ago. The average UK employee has to do the job of 1.4 people – the equivalent of a seven day working week.
And the research revealed there is a block of severely overstretched workers who are doing the equivalent job of two or more people. Over a fifth (22%) of UK employees say their workload should be covered by two people or more, and 6% do the job of at least 2.5 ordinary workers.
Social care workers spread the thinnest
Social care workers are the most-spread thin employees in the UK. Over (54%) say they work hard already and cannot work any harder. Employees in the legal profession are the second most stretched (49%), closely followed by healthcare professionals (47%).