UK professionals 'feel obliged' to work overtime

8 August 2014

UK professionals 'feel obliged' to work overtime73% of UK professionals are working overtime on a regular basis, according to a new survey.

The 2014 Morgan McKinley UK Working Hours Survey polled 636 professionals in sectors including IT, finance and HR. It found that 73% of respondents are regularly working overtime and that two-thirds reported that they felt “obliged” or “very obliged” to work outside their contracted hours.

Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley UK, said: “Naturally, among a committed and highly professional workforce, this is always likely to be the case. More than half of respondents say that they are more productive outside of their contracted hours and this is likewise to be expected: meetings tend to be organised during normal office hours and we all know that we can get more done when we can shut out any distractions in order to focus on important challenges and priorities.”

However, despite the fact that more than half the organisations surveyed did offer staff the chance to work from home or to work flexible hours, 74% said that these excessive working hours are having some impact, or a major impact, on their work-life balance.

The people who work the longest hours are those in more senior positions and those in the 41-50 and 51-60 age brackets. The survey also suggests that on average, men are working slightly longer hours than women. Among men, the percentage working more than their contracted hours is 76%, compared to 67% of women.

Enver said: “Our feeling is that if more organisations introduced similar working practices, this would not only reduce pressure on work-life balance, but also increase rather than damage productivity.”

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