Exaggerating Workloads? It’s More Common Than You Think

Young professionals exaggerate worked hours

Everyone wants to look like they’re busy while at work; it not only makes you look good but there’s always a chance it could increase your promotion chances. But how much of that work is real and how much of it is exaggerated?

Well a study by Ricoh has found that it’s a lot more exaggerated than you may realise. The study, in conjunction with YouGov looked into ‘presenteeism’ in the workplace. It is stated in the study that normally presenteeism means those that choose to work while sick or unwell due to fear of being viewed of negatively.

A New Kind of Presenteeism

One of the conclusions of the Ricoh study is that presenteeism now also includes those who feel they have to work long hours in order to gain positive endorsements.  But this pressure to be seen working in order to gain benefits does not actually mean productivity.

Exaggerated workloads

Exaggerated workloads

In fact the study revealed that over two thirds (67 per cent) of young, professional working people in UK have admitted to faking their workloads by staying behind late beyond contracted hours. This amounts to 1.2 million 18-26 year olds who are trying to gain positive feedback from senior stakeholders.

So why do young professional believe they have to go to these lengths to appease their bosses? Well the study revealed that almost half (41 per cent) of 18-26 year olds believed that their bosses favour staff who work beyond their contracted hours. With these kinds of beliefs, it’s understandable why young people feel the need to try to impress, even if they’re not doing anything worthwhile.

Longing For Flexible Working

Ricoh’s study found that despite UK legislation stipulating that employees are allowed to demand flexible working, as long as they have been there for three months, young employees believe that bosses view this negatively. Two in five (39 per cent) believe that working away from the office could in fact damage or hinder their career progression instead of furthering it.

The rise of technology including laptops, smart phones and tablets mean that just because someone is not in the office, it doesn’t mean they are not doing valuable work. It makes working from anywhere easier and simpler than ever and young professionals want to call on the government to further educate employers on the benefits of flexible working.

In fact 58 per cent back this sentiment with 39 per cent wanting the government to educate employers on staff rights to work from anywhere. The young workforce of today is the most technologically savvy generation out there and the rise of technology is well suited to them.

Find Out More

Read the full Ricoh study here: http://workstyle.ricoh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Ricoh_PresenteeismBrochure_v4.0_Digital-1.pdf

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Sarah Jubb

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