Staff faking workloads to stay late and impress

Young people feel bosses favour staff who work overtime in the office not remotely

Over two thirds (67%) of 18-26 year olds have admitted to ‘faking’ the extent of their workloads by staying late at the office, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by Ricoh.

The report Overhauling a culture of ‘presenteeism’ at work polled 1,249 knowledge workers across the UK, and revealed that 39% of 18-26 year-olds believe working away from the office could damage their career progression, while nearly half (41%) feel their bosses favour staff that work over their contracted hours in the office.

Many of those surveyed felt the government should be doing more to support businesses implement a more tech-enabled working culture, with 30% saying that the government is performing poorly in its efforts to help people work flexibly.

The government educating employers more about the benefits of flexible working was something 58% of respondents called for. Nearly half (49%) believed the government should ensure businesses are clear on their employer obligations to provide access to this style of work. And over one in three (39%) called for the government to educate businesses about their employees’ rights around tech-enabled working.

The importance of technology was highlighted, with nearly half (47%) of respondents calling for the government to connect employers with technology experts, and a third (31%) calling for it to provide grants and funding for technologies to enable a more flexible workforce.

Speaking at an event to launch the report, marketing operations manager at Ricoh UK and Ireland Jon Reader said: “It’s two years since the government announced the flexible working initiative and however well intentioned, it’s fair to say it’s not been adopted as widely as first envisaged. We think this impacts young people disproportionately. They’re digital natives, used to working anywhere across multiple devices and we feel the world of work is not fully catering for them at the moment.”

He added that the report showed presenteeism had now taken a new, perhaps more worrying, form: “There was a time when presenteeism was just someone coming into the office sick and incepting everyone else. But now it’s much more than that; it’s about employees making themselves look more busy than they actually are. That’s just not conducive to good work.”