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Has WFH made working overtime the norm?

Richard Smith, CEO - Office Freedom

A staggering 87 per cent of workers are working longer hours than they are contracted to, with most agreeing they have found themselves doing more when working from home according to recent research.

The study of 2,000 office workers was commissioned* to uncover working habits across the UK, comparing trends and patterns between cities, regions, ages and genders.

It was found that workers in Oxford, Sheffield and Worcester have the longest working day, at an average length of 7.3 hours. And over 80 per cent of these respondents work longer than they are contracted to.

Between genders, men are more likely to work overtime, with 28 per cent stating they work more hours than contracted to every day, compared to 13 per cent of females.

Contributing to the long working day is a short average lunch break. 63 per cent of workers take a maximum of 30 minutes for lunch, with the longest break taken in the West Midlands and the shortest, at an average of 25 minutes, in the South West.

Although, a third of workers surveyed are taking a longer lunch break when working from home.

With longer working days and employees willing to put more hours into their jobs, 37 per cent feel they have never been rewarded for doing a good job. However, benefits such as high street discounts, health and wellbeing initiatives, insurance and extra holiday are common among all employees.

But generally, workers do feel valued at work, with 45 per cent of respondents rating their company highly for being appreciative. Companies in Scotland came out on top when rated for being appreciative.

Consequently, 67 per cent of those surveyed enjoy where they work. This is equally spread across regions, but younger workers are most likely to express enjoyment with where they work than those aged 35 and over.

However, since working from home, and in particular, hybrid working was introduced, most employees report enjoying working more than previously. 42 per cent would also feel disappointed at a return to five days in the office.

Explaining the patterns in working habits, a spokesperson from Office Freedom said: “It seems that the flexibility of hybrid working has enabled more people to enjoy their jobs and take away some of the day-to-day stresses, like commuting, for example.

“Rather than spending hours on the train or in the car, it’s apparent many would rather put that time back into their working day.

“This new way of working is here to stay, especially now that the benefits have been realised by both companies and employees. Inevitably, working habits have changed for the better and it’s now time for companies to embrace the shift and ensure their initiatives and expectations align with the new norm.”

*Office Freedom

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