Roughly half of UK managers put in an extra day of unpaid overtime work a week, a study into working practices has indicated. The Institute of Leadership and Management went on to suggest a lesser total of managers, amounting to an estimated 13%, work two days overtime per week without financial incentive.
Factors including overburdening workloads, and easy access to work-related matters through smartphone technology, have led to over 90% of managers working off the clock.
Although the increase in working hours should seemingly fuel productivity, fears of societal disenchantment through work enslavement and over-tiredness affecting managerial performance, have sparked calls for UK firms to address the issue.
Recent ground-breaking developments in technology have heightened work related anxiety. Smartphone technology has enhanced in recent years, triggering ìobsessiveî working habits in some managers.
“When you add up all the skipped lunch breaks, early morning conference calls and after hours emails you see just how widespread the ëextra hoursí culture is within UK business,” said ILM chief executive Charles Elvin.
“Of course, all organisations face busy periods when employees will feel motivated to work above and beyond their contractual hours.
“But 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,” he added.
This perspective is reinforced by results of an online survey of 1056 ILM members, which found that 76% regularly work after hours in the office, 48% skip their lunch break and over 33% work at weekends.
These findings follow an internal poll ran by Ovum Analysts for Samsung Business Futurescape, which discovered up to 78% of employees use their personal devices for work. Data also revealed that many are setting up their own software and applications, such as cloud file sync, as 18% of workers cannot rely on their companyís IT department to provide them with appropriate, up-date resources.
Fears of underperformance as a result of an excessively weighty workload have been endorsed by a recent study from research body, the Work Foundation.
“When you work excessive hours this can lead to employee burnout, increased stress, depression and physical illnesses,” said Zofia Bajorek from the Work Foundation.
The Foundation suggests that flexible working hours could be implemented through smartphone usage, with positive ramifications for ìthe organisation, the employee and the customerî.
Employersí organisation, the CBI, said that businesses focussing resources on employee wellbeing is ìnot only the right thing to do, but it also has real business benefitsî.
“Having healthy staff is an essential part of running a healthy business,” said Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills.
“Businesses are looking at how they can work with employees to manage workload and we’re already seeing many firms focusing on health management and building employee resilience to help keep their staff happy and healthy.”