In the UK, while the number of people overall who are working overtime has decreased, the number of hours worked by those who do work over their contracted hours has actually grown over the past year. According to The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies research, more than one in 10 workers are putting in between 10 and 20 hours of overtime a week, while just over 2% of staff do between 20 and 30 hours over their contracted weekly hours. And the numbers putting in more than 30 hours extra has increased to 0.5% – which equates for an extra 150,000 people across the U.K.
Not surprisingly, the majority of those working 10-20 hours of overtime per week were senior managers and those putting in the most hours reported an increase of stress-related symptoms over the past year. With stress leading to bad habits such as smoking and a poor diet it is no wonder it has been directly related to increased heart attacks – further illustration that working longer hours is a short-term solution in emergencies and should never be viewed as the status quo. In fact, many of the 100 Best Companies found that their most productive people worked fewer hours and that it was sustainable practise and loyalty which made them deliver the best service to their customers.