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Employees working harder for longer, survey finds

BUSINESSDESK: More than a third of employees surveyed are working more than 51 hours a week, putting them at risk of burnout and reflecting a project-driven work environment, employment consultant Hudson says.

"Many businesses are 'flying while they build the plane'," New Zealand general manager Roman Rogers says.

The latest employment trends survey by his firm reveals that 29.6% of employers polled are experiencing increased employee burnout, he says.

About 26% of employees surveyed say they are working longer hours than they were a year ago, with 72% citing demands from projects they are involved with.

A decrease in team size was only cited by 22% of people and half say they are working harder because customers are demanding more.

About 59% of employers polled intend to keep staffing levels steady, while 31% intend to employ more people. Hiring intentions are highest in the South Island.

Mr Rogers says many companies in Canterbury are trying to maintain their business as normal while gearing up for the rebuild.

Often the qualities needed to be successful in a project-driven context are different compared to a business-as-usual environment.

There is more risk of employee burnout if projects are not managed effectively, he says.