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New job - workload issue

(5 Posts)
startlife Sun 23-Sep-12 14:50:59

I've started a new job - I was told it wasn't the most interesting job but 2 weeks in I've realised it is dull but also very stressy. The workload is very high and whilst I'm sure it will improve when I'm up to speed I can't imagine it will reduce very significantly.

Added to this I've been told that when a colleague (who has a very full time role) is away on holiday for 5 weeks a year I will have to cover for his role which will mean I do 2 jobs for that period of time. There is no other resource.

I only took the role as I had assumed with would fit in with family life and I wanted a local and predictable job. Staff in the team have been signed off with long term stress so I'm sure the issue is the workload.

I asked if they looked at workloads predications - i.e growing revenue, means more transactions therefore more workload but that's when they made a comment "if you don't keel over at your desk we assume the workload is fine".

I just wondering if this is common practice - is is usual to have 2 jobs for holiday cover. Both jobs require constant work as there are service levels for responses.

Clearly if this is common then I've been sheltered from the harsh realities of the work of work as I've tended to have professional roles where you worked to end of year objectives.

Xenia Sun 23-Sep-12 15:39:44

Most places I have ever heard of in offices have people cover for holiday whilst a colleague is away which is why companies try to stagger holidays and control who can be away when.

I think the only way you can deal with this is do your work in a reasonable number of hours but don't let the stress get to you and don't worry about it too much.

If it's dull look for another job but don't leave this one until you find another.

blueshoes Sun 23-Sep-12 15:41:55

It sounds like the company is chronically understaffed and badly managed.

If you are at 100% (or close to it) for your job alone, then you could not realistically take on holiday cover for a colleague.

How many people are there doing your role/team? Who else could share the holiday workload with you for that colleague on vacation? Does the workload ebb and flow accordingly to cycles. Are you customer-facing so you get it at that end if you don't meet deadlines?

Does management accept that the service levels will inevitably drop if a team member goes on holiday? It is not a long term solution though because it is very stressful to constantly be battling a backlog.

startlife Mon 24-Sep-12 19:18:54

I'm the only person doing my role and it seems no one shares the workload. I was told today that it's usual practice to only ever take a week holiday because of the cover issue which is madness and I certainly wasn't told that.

I don't believe the work goes very quiet at any point and it's a customer facing type role (as in I need to respond to clients within certain service levels). The other role affects revenue so if it's not done, the books don't look good and pressure will be applied. I can't see how that wouldn't be a priority.

This is my issue - I am constantly in a backlog..you can never get on top of the job and clear your inbasket. I worked out the typical time to respond to requests x typical number of requests and it is well over the working week even if I'm very conservative about the response times.

When I tried to discuss this with the manager she was shocked that I could consider workload forecasting. "It doesn't help to get the work done does it!!"

I don't want to appear negative or critical as the people are nice but they just don't have the usual management skills I'm used to. The company has grown year on year, not introduced any productivity yet staffing levels haven't increased at all.Added to this the systems are awful, the production system runs on a development server and it's taken down often which makes the job even harder!

It's a bugger - I just don't want or need the stress of the job as my H and I could be separating but I also need the income. I guess I will have to monitor my stress levels and look around for other jobs (which in my area haven't been too easy).

blueshoes Mon 24-Sep-12 20:48:09

Startlife, it sounds like you are powerless and overwhelmed by the workload. I am a bit appalled that your manager actually considered workload forecasting to be hindering you rather than helping. Clearly she has no clue about managing workload or intention of hiring more people.

Amateur hour.

That IS very stressful. I agree with your strategy. Look around but stay in your job in the meantime and gain experience.

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