New Delhi: Indian business leaders are among the world’s most stressed employees as they put in more working hours (around 57 hours per week), in a bid to remain competitive in a globalised and technologically advanced world, a new survey says.
Business leaders in emerging economies tend to work the longest hours with India and Argentina at the top of the league, both at 57 hours a week, followed by Armenia, Australia and Botswana (56 hours), as per global accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR).
“Stress levels are continuing to rise around the world, with particular concern for business leaders in the emerging economies of mainland China, India and Russia,” leading global accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton India National Managing Partner Vishesh Chandiok said.
The survey “International Business Report (IBR)” tracks the attitudes and expectations of small and medium-sized businesses.
In India, 79% respondents said their stress levels have increased and in Russia 76% feel the same.
“Globalisation and increasing technological advances have increased the pressure on business leaders to ‘always be contactable’ and this appears to be having an increasing strain on their lives,” Chandiok said.
Mainland China tops the chart as its business leaders, working 54 hours a week, are the most stressed in the world, with 84% reporting an increase in stress levels compared to last year followed by Taiwan with 82%, as per the IBR report.
“The stress levels appear to be a reflection of the pace of growth in these economies and of the longer hours worked by business leaders in these countries as they strive to take advantage of domestic and global economic expansion,” Chandiok added.
The report, which covers the opinions of 7,200 privately owned businesses in 32 countries, found that 56% of business leaders worldwide feel their stress levels have increased in the last year.
The study includes countries like - Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, the UK and the US.
Chandiok further added that the challenge for business leaders is how they can improve modern working practices to allow time to ‘switch off´ from the strains of increasingly demanding business lives - while remaining competitive.
The IBR research shows that business leaders around the world work an average 53 hours a week with Europeans working for just 50 hours, followed by respondents in East Asia with 53 hours and NAFTA with 54 hours.
Interestingly, business leaders in Europe are the least stressed with just 27% of Swedish business owners reporting an increase in stress levels, followed by Ireland (35%) and the UK, the Netherlands and France (all 37%).
Commenting on the findings Alex MacBeath, Global leader of privately held business services for Grant Thornton International said, “the shorter working week in Europe is reflected in the lowest rise in stress levels worldwide suggesting that European businesses are perhaps leading the world in managing work life balance and quality of life”.