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Annie Hayes

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Fat cats struggle to juggle

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Senior executives in the UK admit they are struggling with conflicting priorities that leave them no time to think and are worried that the challenges are just too much.

Research, published today by the Chartered Management Institute, showed that 84 per cent battle with the challenge of prioritising work, whilst two-thirds claim to have little time to think and just over half say they struggle to find time for strategic planning. Only half find it easy to make time for their staff, while a similar proportion (44 per cent) are diverted by internal politics.

Juggling work and personal commitments is also proving difficult, with 54 per cent admitting they find it hard to get home on time and, worryingly, only one in 10 strongly agree they can relax in their free time.

The interruptions and challenges of the daily grind result in 71 per cent battling to finish tasks – half blame this on too many meetings.

Surprisingly, 72 per cent say new product development is not high on the organisational development agenda, with 70 per cent saying ‘seeking new markets for products and services’ is unimportant. Yet just 16 per cent put ‘innovation’ on the list of challenges.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs for the Chartered Management Institute, said: “In the current climate, prioritising a multitude of responsibilities and tasks at work is a real challenge for managers. Organisations need to provide a supportive and open environment so individuals can dedicate time to developing fresh ideas for the future of the business.”

She added: “The lack of professional training and development is also a concern. If UK employers fail to invest in the skills and competencies of individuals, there will be a serious impact on how well the UK performs on a global market in the future.”

However, despite the heavy challenges, senior executives remain as motivated as ever. A whopping 83 per cent can’t wait to ‘get up in the morning’ while 75 per cent claim they find it easy to ‘keep positive’. There is also a clear indication of camaraderie, with 76 per cent turning to colleagues for support. Their enthusiasm is all the more surprising given that just 33 per cent agree that they can see how their career will progress.

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Annie Hayes

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