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Burnt out Brits working 66million overtime hours each week, for free

04 October 2016

UK employees are working an additional 66million hours of overtime each week, without being compensated, according to a new report.

The ‘Work it Out’ Report, commissioned by OnePulse - a leading UK opinion app - and published as part of the National Work Life Week (3-7 Oct 2016) asked 2000 UK-based employees for their honest opinion on their work/life balance, which has presented some harsh realities.

Each week 70% of UK employees are working an average of 8.73 hours’ overtime, and 43% will not be paid for their time – amounting to approximately 66m unpaid hours of work. The research shows that 50% of employees feel stressed and tired at work, with only a quarter stating they feel happy and valued in the workplace.

Employees who took part in the research claimed overtime includes working through their lunch break (71%) and after hours (79%). Over a third of UK-based employees say they are not able to take 100% of their annual leave entitlement, due to excessive workload (37%).

A large majority of those who took part (93%) said they would prefer to work longer days for four days a week (10.5 hours) and have a three-day weekend. The majority of UK-based employees say their weekend is spent recuperating from their busy working week, leaving little energy to do ‘out of work’ activities (66%).

So, how are employees being compensated for working overtime?

  • No compensation – 46%
  • Extra pay – 28%
  • Time off in lieu – 13%
  • Flexible hours – 13%

Nick Walter, OnePulse chief marketing officer commented on the findings: “As both an employer and an employee, work/life balance is always an interesting debate. The real issue here is the taboo nature of working overtime today. Since the start of the UK financial crisis in 2008, there was a nervousness amongst employees, who were urged to up their game to keep their jobs – and this is the hangover – who is going to speak out?

“Simultaneously, the rise of ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) into the workplace and innovations in digital technology and improved access to high speed internet, ‘work’ is no longer only possible in the office – work is everywhere we turn."