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73% of UK professionals are working longer than contracted hours, survey reveals

Hakan Enver, operations director, Morgan McKinley UK, commented, “Naturally, among a committed and highly professional workforce, this is always likely to be the case. 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 normal office hours and we all know that we can get more done when we can shut out any distractions in order to 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, and the overwhelming majority are unaware of any plans to change working in their organisation. Two-thirds of 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. “Our feeling is that if more organisations introduced similar working practices, this would not only reduce pressure on work life balance, but also increase, rather than damage productivity.” says Enver.

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. The survey also suggests that on average, men are working slightly longer hours than women. Among men, the percentage working more than their contracted hours is 76.1%, compared to 67% of women. “This may however simply reflect the fact that there is a rather higher proportion of men in more senior roles,” says Enver.

Morgan McKinley conducted 636 telephone interviews with the Working Hours survey questionnaire in July 2014. Respondents are all professionals on the Morgan McKinley database who are engaged in a range of specialist disciplines such as Accounting & Finance, Audit, Compliance, IT, HR and Office Support as permanent headcount or contractors. Two-thirds of respondents are male and one third female. The majority of respondents (80.2%) work in London while the remaining 19.2% work in the areas served by Morgan McKinley regional offices (in Surrey, Sussex, the South West and Thames Valley).



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