UK workers regularly putting in extra hours are suffering from poor health
New research from insurer Aviva
suggests UK workers are putting in 26 million extra hours every day.
The company’s latest Health of the Workplace Report
suggests six in 10 employees work beyond their contracted hours, putting in an average of 1.5 hours extra per day.
A further one in four employees (23 percent) claim they work between two to three extra hours a day.
Most of these instances (79 percent) are unpaid, which translates to UK workers giving back £225m worth of free hours every single day.
But there is a price to pay; the health of the workers concerned. Over a quarter (27 percent) report feeling tired all the time, while a further 23 percent feel really stressed. One in 10 (9 percent) need to smoke or drink to unwind, while 15 percent admit their diet is suffering.
When asked why they work longer hours, one in five (18 percent) say they do so for the love of the job, while 41 percent said it was because they had too much on their plate. A further one in five wanted to make a good impression on their manager.
Staff are adopting a number of strategies to squeeze in these extra hours:
- 37 percent work in the evenings after their contracted hours
- 28 percent come in early to get a head start
- 16 percent put in hours at the weekend
- One in 10 (11 percent) even admit to working late at night when unable to sleep.
Douglas Wright, head of clinical development for Aviva, said: "Most employers make great efforts to look after their workers and ensure they get a good work/life balance. In fact 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. Six percent of workers 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."