Economic Woes Mean U.K. Workers Spending More Time at Work

June 2, 2009 ( - A new U.K. survey found British workers are spending more time at work scrambling to safeguard their jobs during the recession than before, but this doesn't seem to be hurting their personal relationships at home.

A news release from the Lancaster University’s new Centre for Organizational Health and Wellbeing about its employee survey said 66% of respondents reported staying around the office more in the past few months, and 61% said that they worry more about the future.

The gender differences in this survey are also worth mentioning, in that 71% of women reported that they are now spending more time at work compared with 61% of men, according to the news release. “This suggests that women may feel more vulnerable about job loss than men,” the announcement said. “Furthermore, a higher percentage of women than men are finding the current economic situation stressful.”

Some 54% of workers reported that their relationships were unaffected by the economic downturn, with 21% saying that relationships had been adversely affected.

Forty-two percent of people surveyed said that in the past three months that they feel more insecure about their jobs. Some 45% of employees said that they thought it best to ‘play it safe at work and keep my head down’, while 24% disagreed. Some 41% reported a negative atmosphere at work.

“It’s probably not surprising that workers are stressed and worried, but I think these results show that people are realizing that family life is important and are investing in it to make relationships work when other parts of life seem uncertain,” said Cary Cooper, Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University, in the announcement.

The survey was conducted April 17 to 20 with a sample of 2,247.