Over half of us work longer than our contracted hours

Research by CABA has found that 59% of employees and managers admit that they work longer than their contracted hours and nearly 3 in 10 of them (29%) are working more than 5 additional hours per week. 

shutterstock_303243260The research conducted also revealed that 38% of men, compared with 21% of women, work more than 5 hours of overtime a week on a regular basis and only 11% of men, and 18% of women say they never work overtime. Men work an average of 4.4 hours a week overtime in comparison to women who work 3.1 hours. 

CABA’s research also highlighted that 82% of 25-34 year old workers regularly work overtime. More than half of 25-34 year olds (55%) regularly work more than 5 hours a week overtime. In contrast workers aged 55 or older are least likely to work overtime, only 47% of this age group work overtime regularly, and 57% of those that do work overtime, are doing less than 5 hours a week more than their contracted hours. 

Kelly Feehan, services director at CABA, commented: “Employers want refreshed and, most importantly, productive employees. While employees may wish to put in extra time to meet deadlines, regular overtime tends to affect their creativity and focus. Rather than being productive, overtime can put employees at risk of stress and burnout.” 

CABA also broke down the findings regionally and found that employees living in the South of England do the most overtime. The nation’s capital worked the longest hours – 40% of Londoners work between 5 and 10 hours overtime per week. In contrast, employees living in Scotland are least likely to work overtime. Middle management tend to work the most overtime, averaging 7.5 hours per week. Senior staff average 3.5 hours, while their junior counterparts average 2.4 hours.  

The research also looked into employees working overtime across multiple different industries, the main findings included: 

  • Employees in hotels and restaurants work the most overtime at a little over 6 hours, followed by those in real estate, and the creative industries, both working a little over 5 hours overtime
  • Sectors such as finance and business (22%), manufacturing (29%) and estate agents (38%) work up to 10 hours of overtime a week
  • In contrast, wholesale and retail, and public administration and defence employees put in the fewest hours overtime each week at 3 hours and 16 minutes

Kelly Feehan continued: “Employers are aware of the UK’s issue with productivity, so are increasingly offering employees flexible working opportunities. Undertaking tasks and meeting deadlines is important but, ultimately, employees should keep contracted work time and home life separate. This way they will be more productive, healthier and happier in the long run.”

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