Majority of professionals work long hours

Nearly three quarters of UK professionals work overtime regularly, according to research by recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley.

The working hours survey polled more than 600 professionals across a range of sectors and found that 73% routinely work longer than their contracted hours.

Nearly three quarters of these said that working longer hours was having an impact on their work-life balance. However, two thirds said that they felt obliged to work longer, despite the negative effects.

The survey also found:

  • professionals in senior positions work the longest hours
  • people working long hours are likely to be aged 41-60
  • 76% of men and 67% of women work more than their contracted hours
  • more than half the organisations surveyed offer flexible working.

Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley UK, said:

"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.

"Our feeling is that if more organisations introduced similar [flexible] working practices, this would not only reduce pressure on work-life balance, but also increase rather than damage productivity."