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DH's work is becoming more and more stressful - how should he approach this with his bosses?

(11 Posts)
flashharriet Wed 21-Oct-09 10:29:17

DH is in a fairly senior management position. His company have reduced their staffing by 30% in the last year and subsequently, everyone is working at full capacity all the time. 6 months ago, another manager was made redundant and DH was given her workload as well (he did agree to this) with no extra pay.

He has now reached the stage where the long hours and additional stress are really taking their toll on his health and well-being and I'm increasingly worried about him. The problem is totally volume-related rather than not being able to do the job IYKWIM.

He's all set to leave ASAP but I would really like him to talk to his work as I cannot believe there's nothing that could be done to help his situation. He is reluctant to do this hmm as he's always prided himself on being able to cope with anything thrown at him and I think to admit he can't cope scares him.

I really would be grateful for any advice as to the best way forward. Is there anything legally he can throw at them? What would be the best way of saying "sort this or I'll be signed off with stress for 6 months"?

Thanks very much sad

gomez Wed 21-Oct-09 10:38:04

His company are legally obliged to safeguard his well being but I am not convinced throwing that into the hat is a good idea at this stage but he should make it clear that he can't continue with the current arrangment. It may be wise from him to present an alternative distribution of the work - i.e. some goes down from him and some goes up. He should also emphasise that the current situation is not benefiting his company either - nobody produceds their best work when tired, stressed and de-motivated.

Hope that he can sort something out. I am sure some others with more direct experience will be along soon.

flashharriet Wed 21-Oct-09 10:45:28

Thank you gomez. The legal bit was more my frustration coming out than any real intent (and I think DH would rather die than threaten any kind of legal action).

I'll suggest he comes up with a plan for redistributing work but I think his immediate boss is part of the problem IYKWIM in terms of how much DH is expected to do.

flashharriet Wed 21-Oct-09 11:59:27

Any other thoughts?

bigstripeytiger Wed 21-Oct-09 12:11:50

Has he tried just pointing out that the workload is not feasable, and that things are slipping as a result, and asking what his company would suggest that he do about it?

Earlybird Wed 21-Oct-09 12:12:32

I imagine everyone in the company is stressed if the workforce has been reduced so dramatically over a relatively short period of time. They clearly have a great deal of confidence in your dh if he has remained at the company when so many others have not.

Think it might be pro-active and productive for your dh to have a meeting to discuss priorities now that the company has been streamlined to such a degree. Perhaps your dh and other senior management can define some new/more effective and efficient ways of working in this business environment. Maybe they could also identify the essential things that must happen no matter what, and also identify things that can be allowed to 'slide' or that can wait.

It is an undeniable fact that the same amount of work cannot be done by 30% fewer people - unless there was a tremendous amount of 'dead wood' on staff previously.

flashharriet Wed 21-Oct-09 17:34:33

Thank you BST and earlybird. I think you're both right - DH needs to be a lot more proactive in terms of pointing out the problems and suggesting solutions which I'm not so sure he has been doing up til now. I just hope they listen to him.

Thanks again everyone.

WideWebWitch Wed 21-Oct-09 19:19:44

He should quantify his workload, compare it to the hours available and ask them to prioritise it imo. And he should talk to his manager about it and come up with some proposed solution.

So if his hours are 40 and the work is 60 hours then 20 hours have to be 'lost' somewhere through a combination of:

- delegating it to someone else (if he;s senior this should be possible)
- automating it
- not doing it
- changing deadlines
- changing the way it's done (faster, less detailed, less regularly, something like that)

He should also put all this in writing (but not aggressively if he wants to keep his job) and I think they will either respond and help, in which case sorted or they won't, in which case he needs to start making "stressed" noises at which point they should start worrying about their duty of care and their responsibilities towards him.

Good luck.

flashharriet Thu 22-Oct-09 19:46:11

Thanks www, that's really good advice. He talked to his boss today and put him in the picture - immediately work was taken away and given to someone else/decided it wasn't needed etc etc - pity it couldn't have happened anyway without DH teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown hmm but at least it's happening now.

<by the way www, how's it going? I was FN before this and we emailed regarding your possible move to B as my Dad and sister live there. Wondered how your ds got on last year - my ds is going through the same thing right now and it's GRIM isn't it??>

WideWebWitch Thu 22-Oct-09 19:58:30

Hi FH!Sympathy on your ds too, mine failed the 11+ so we're paying and he's doing well so far. The whole thing was stressful beyond belief. We left Bristol after 2 years as I was offered a job in the SE so we moved 3 yrs ago and are very happy, thanks for asking!

flashharriet Fri 23-Oct-09 10:33:23

Oh that's great news (your happiness, not your ds IYKWIM). At least you've got a stress free few years before dd takes it...

Take care and nice to see you here smile

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