Britain's managers are failing to heed the warning signs of when excessive workplace pressures can turn to stress.

A report from the Institute of Management, published today, says carrying on regardless risks damaging performance at work and home lives.

Executives must learn to spot the pressure points and act, with their organisations, to curb stress before moving into the danger zones if they are to survive and thrive in today's pressured work environment.

The report, Taking the Strain, was prepared jointly with PPP Healthcare. It paints a picture of executives who mainly enjoy and feel challenged in their work but do not always have the resources they need to do their jobs and frequently take the strain themselves.

Most managers look forward to going to work (only 18 per cent say they do not), 43 per cent say they are happy in their job and almost nine in ten (89 per cent) know what they want to achieve at work.

However, they are often unhappy with their workplace culture (43 per cent), feel unable to cope with their workloads (42 per cent) and struggle to meet goals and targets (40 per cent).

Executives identify a range of workplace pressure points, which can be linked to the way their organisations work as well as their own working styles.

The top ten pressure points, those highlighted in the "high pressure zone", cover organisational problems such as poor communication, office politics and poor senior management.

They also pinpoint factors in the way individuals work, such as handling change, dealing with time pressures and new technologies, as key culprits.

The report says that in today's organisations, constant change is a way of life, posing major challenges for the way we work.

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