A survey by Towers Watson has suggested that one in three employees faces excessive pressure at work due to long hours and pressure brought on by the economic downturn.

The firm’s Global Workforce Study, which surveyed 32,000 employees worldwide, found 34% are often affected by excessive work pressures.

It also revealed that 58% claim that they have worked more hours than normal over the past three years, with exactly half saying they expect this to continue for a further three years.

Fifty-three per-cent of employees agreed that their stress levels at work are manageable, although less than a third said that their leaders supported health and wellbeing policies to help them cope with it.

According to the research, 26% of British workers said that they have not been taking as much holiday or personal time off over the past three years, while one in five felt that cuts to the workforce had left them with an unreasonable amount of work. In addition to this, 30% of respondents believed that their organisation was under-resourced.

Charles Fair, Senior Engagement and Wellbeing Consultant at Towers Watson, said:

“This research raises huge concerns over our country’s health and wellbeing at work. Several years of economic uncertainty have led to increased anxiety around job security with workers putting in longer hours than ever, raising concerns of ‘burn-out’ among British workers. Businesses should act now to avoid a ‘work until you drop’ culture turning into the norm with workers becoming increasingly unproductive, something our economy can ill-afford at the moment.

“If employees are overworked and stressed then their levels of engagement, morale and wellbeing are correspondingly low and this can have a real impact on the bottom line for many organisations. Understanding employees’ needs and putting in place a thorough health and well-being strategy can pay dividends for organisations of all sizes.”