Workers are putting in a staggering 26 million extra hours in the workplace each day, according to new research from Aviva's latest report on health of the workplace. It shows six in ten employees regularly work beyond their contracted hours, putting in an average of 1.5 hours overtime a day. Nearly one in four claim they work an extra 2-3 hours daily.
79% of these hours are unpaid, which means workers are providing around worth £225 million of ‘free' hours each day for employers.
As a result of these extra hours, the health of the UK's workforce is suffering:
- 27% report they feel tired all the time
- 23% say they feel really stressed
- 15% admit that their diet is suffering as they eat junk food
- 9% need to smoke or drink to unwind
Only 18% report that they still have a good work/life balance in spite of these extra hours. Only 18% say they work longer for the love of the job. Most extra hours are put in because employees claim they have too much work (41%) or because they want to give a good impression to the boss (20%).
People are adopting a number of strategies to squeeze in these extra hours:
- 37% work in the evenings after their contracted hours
- 28% come in early to get a head start
- 16% put in hours at the weekend
- 11% admit to working late at night when unable to sleep.
Dr Douglas Wright for Aviva says: "Most employers make great efforts to look after their workers and ensure they get a good work / life balance. Our study showed that this is a top priority for a third of employers over the next 12 months so they may be very surprised to see how some employees are struggling to manage their workloads. Working excessively can have a huge impact on people's mental and physical wellbeing, so anyone who feels they might have a problem, should speak to their manager to address the matter before it becomes a bigger issue. 6% actually report they have been off sick as a result of overworking, so it's very much in employers and employees' interests to nip any such problems in the bud."
It would be interesting to know how many extra unpaid hours the average Aviva employee puts in.