By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
Nearly three-quarters (73.4%) of the professionals who responded to the 2014 Morgan McKinley UK Working Hours Survey say they are working longer than the hours stipulated in their contracts. Among Finance Senior Contract personnel, more than 92% stated that they work more than their contracted hours. Additionally those in Finance Senior Permanent roles, the figure is 84%.
More than half of respondents say that they are more productive outside of their contracted hours and this is likewise to be expected: meetings tend to be organised during office working hours and professionals can get more done when they can shut out distractions and focus on important challenges and priorities. However, just under three-quarters (74.1%) say that these excessive working hours are having some impact, or a major impact, on their work-life balance. Two-thirds of the respondents feel obliged, or very obliged, to work in excess of their contracted hours.
The survey also shows that more than half of organisations offer opportunities to work from home or to work flexible hours, so it is likely that if other organisations were to introduce similar practices, pressures on the work-life balance could be reduced without damaging – and probably increasing – productivity. However, when asked about awareness of any plans to change working hours. The overwhelming majority of respondents (91.5%) stated that they were unaware of any plans within their organisation to change the working hours as they stand.
Moreover, the people who work the longest hours are, as one might expect, those in more senior positions and those in the 41-50 and 51-60 age brackets, by which time the pressures of parenting may have eased a little. On average men are working slightly longer hours than women, according to the survey. Among men, the percentage working more than their contracted hours is 76.1%, compared to 67% of women.
The infographic (see below) cleverly illustrates the findings of the survey.