The findings suggested that today's '24/7' corporate culture is taking its toll on company leaders, with over half (52 per cent) of respondents saying they felt 'snowed under'.

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of the individuals who managed large teams said they were overworked.

The study also indicated that managers' work/life balance is suffering because of their demanding jobs, with the majority of respondents putting in more than 48 hours every week.

Most (64 per cent) of the senior business figures polled by Ashridge Business School said they regularly take their work home.

Fiona Dent, director of executive education at Ashridge, said there are undeniable signs of stress and strain for many managers.

One recommendation offered by Ms Dent is for organisations to focus on staff resilience, as employees who are better equipped to deal with pressure will be more likely to perform well when economic and corporate conditions deteriorate.

She added: "One way of gaining competitive advantage is by boosting employee performance through training and leadership programmes.

"Whilst many managers say sufficient time is allocated to their own learning and development, less than half say enough time is allocated for team development. This suggests that more companies need to adopt a more strategic approach to team development, not just individual development."

The study also suggested there is room for improvement in some areas of management, with only 49 per cent of leaders found to be spending enough time communicating with staff and 52 per cent described as clear communicators.

Companies using absence management software to improve the efficiency of their operations might want to consider the wellbeing of senior staff, with recent research showing that many managers are struggling to deal with heavy workloads.

Research released by PricewaterhouseCoopers last month claimed that workers born between 1980 and 1995 see work/life balance and flexibility as more important than pay.

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