UK professionals 'facing burnout' with 84% working extra hours

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By Isabelle Bell, CA Today

14 July 2016

UK professionals are working well above their contracted hours without compensation, according to a new survey.

The survey of 2,600 finance, banking and other professionals by recruiter Morgan McKinley found that 84% are working extra hours, with 31% of respondents working 10 or more additional hours per week.

87% said they were not compensated for the extra time, and 75% felt ‘obligated’ or ‘very obligated’ to put in the additional hours at the office. Of those that receive compensation, time in lieu is the most popular option provided by employers (83%).

How many hours do you work beyond your contracted hours?

  • 10 or more hours: 31%
  • 6-9 hours: 27%
  • Up to five hours: 26%
  • The same as my contracted hours: 21%
  • Less than my contracted hours: 1%

Almost three in four (78%) said they ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’ work from a mobile device after they leave the office. Working beyond their contracted hours is having a “heavy impact” on the work/life balance of 47% of respondents, the survey said.

The figures also revealed that 34% of professionals never take a lunch break. Of those that do take a break, 76% said they eat their lunch at their desk.

How do you use your lunch break?

  • Eat at my desk: 76%
  • Leave the office: 18%
  • Exercise: 6%
  • Other: 9%

It isn’t all bad news though, with 67% offered the option of working from home and 60% given flexible start/finish times.

The respondents said that flexible working, shorter working hours and fewer meetings would make their working lives easier.

David Leithead, UK Chief Operations Officer at Morgan McKinley, said that businesses are facing an “alarming burnout” and need to evolve work practices to introduce flexible working arrangements.

He said: “Employers may have good intentions but many have a long way to go in finding a solution, helping their employees to find the right balance and re-educating old school management to ensure that they attract and retain talent.

“Not least because the new millennial generation won't embrace this, they simply won't put up with it  - which spells longer term problems that big companies can't afford to ignore.”

Source: Morgan McKinley

Read next: 10 ways to be happier at work


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