9 in 10 work overtime

More than 9 in 10 (94%) UK employees work over their contracted weekly hours, according to research from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

Nearly two thirds (65%) of respondents reported pressure to work overtime, while 44% said they were under direct pressure from their boss.

The survey of over 1,000 ILM members also found:

  • 76% routinely work late in the office or home
  • 48% regularly work through their lunch break
  • 38% work during the weekends
  • 53% said they needed to work extra hours to complete their workloads
  • the main out-of-office tasks were reading emails (78%), reading reports (32%) and dealing with urgent matters (30%).

Other key findings:

  • 47% work at least one extra day (7.5 hours) per week
  • 13% said they worked over 15 extra hours
  • just 13% of respondents said they were pleased with their work/life balance.

Charles Elvin, chief executive of the ILM, said:

“When you add up all the skipped lunch breaks, early morning conference calls and after hours emails you see just how widespread the extra hours culture is within UK business.

“Excessive hours are not sustainable – there are only so many times you can burn the midnight oil before your performance, decision making and wellbeing begin to suffer. This is why it’s so important for organisations to equip staff with the fundamental planning and time management skills they need to cope with their workloads more effectively.”