employment

Yes, you are spending more time at the office

Oct. 11, 2011 at 7:24 AM ET

If it seems like you’re spending more time working since the recession began, two things: You likely aren’t imagining it, and you likely aren’t alone.

A new survey of more than 300 companies in the United States and Canada finds that nearly two-thirds of employers say their workers have been asked to put in more hours than normal over the past three years.

About half expect the longer hours to continue for the next three years as well, according to the survey from professional services company Towers Watson.

Senior and middle managers were the most likely to say they were working more, according to a separate Towers Watson survey of employees.

Not only are people working more, many also are taking less time off. Nearly one-third of employers also said their workers have been taking less vacation or personal time in the last three years. 

Your bosses may be asking you to do more, but chances are they recognize it’s tough on you. A little more than half of U.S. employers, and a little less than half of the Canadian employers, said they knew the changes they made were hurting their employees’ ability to have a healthy work/life balance.

Still, Towers Watson noted that companies may be underestimating the effect work-related stress and poor work/life balance will have on their ability to keep their best workers. That’s something many employers haven’t had to worry much about through the weak economy, but that may become a bigger issue as the economy improves.

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