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Tuesday, 25 July, 2000, 23:06 GMT 00:06 UK
Scots workers 'feel the pressure'
office scene
Are Scots workers under more pressure?
Scots are working harder now than at the start of the decade, says research which was commissioned by the BBC's Newsnight Scotland.

Changing work ethics and new working practices, brought about by changes in technology, are thought to be partly responsible.

The statistics are based on a large workplace study, which was conducted by Professor Francis Green, of the University of Kent in Canterbury, in 1992 and again in 1997.

It showed a stark increase in the number of Britons who felt they were working harder.

Francis Green
Francis Green: "The explanation is unclear"
But even more revealing was the amount of Scots who felt the pressures of work more than anyone else in the UK.

In England, 32% of those interviewed in 1992 said they worked very hard, that figure rose to 39% in 1997.

In Scotland, 23% of those interviewed in 1992 said they worked very hard, that figure jumped to 44% in 1997.

The professor believes the "hurry culture" has contributed to the percentage rise.

He says it is most evident in industries which use new technology.

Targets set

Call centres were highlighted. The work rate of staff is more likely to be monitored electronically, workers are arranged in competing teams and they are given targets to reach.

Prof Green explained: "There is no clear explanation why there should be a difference between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

"Maybe workers in Scotland started a little way behind and have caught up with the rest of Britain.

"Another possible explanation is that there are certain kinds of technology - such as those employed in call centres - which are disproportionately higher in Scotland.

"We have seen intensification in the call centre industry.

"Otherwise, it is not clear why there should be a difference.

"I am not saying Scots work harder than everyone in Britain - I would say the intensity of work is much the same throughout."

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See also:

02 Sep 99 | The Economy
Workers 'pressured' into extra hours
02 Sep 99 | Health
Workers at risk of 'desk rage'
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