Many workers across the UK feel that they are being stretched to the limit in their jobs, new research suggests.

A survey by specialist recruiter Randstad found that 43 per cent of employees think they cannot work any harder, an increase from 30 per cent this time last year.

More than a fifth (22 per cent) of respondents claimed they have the workload of two or more people, which could be a concern to organisations trying to alleviate stress through their absence management policies.

Over half (53 per cent) of working Britons feel that their job should be done by more than one person, according to the research.

The average individual was found to be taking on the responsibilities of 1.4 people, which is effectively the same as doing a seven-day week.

Other findings from the study of 2,000 British workers showed that 40 per cent of people think they are working harder than a year ago, despite recent improvements in the economy.

Twelve months ago, only 30 per cent of respondents said their workload had become heavier over the year leading up to the poll.

On the positive side, the Randstad survey found that more responsibility at work has helped the most capable employees in sectors such as financial services progress quicker.

More than one in five (23 per cent) financial services professionals thought a heavy workload had helped them gain a promotion and 13 per cent believed it had secured them a pay rise.

Mark Bull, UK and Middle East chief executive of Randstad, said: "There is little doubt UK employees … are working harder than ever. Spread-thin Britain is being stretched even thinner.

"Up until recently, firms were reluctant to take on staff because they were concerned the nascent economic recovery could be easily derailed. As a result, existing staff have taken on increasingly large workloads, particularly as the recovery has gained momentum and demand has increased."

A recent survey by Westfield Health found that nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of Britons feel stressed at work.

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