It found that 65 per cent of managers feel under pressure to work extra hours and 94 per cent work over and above their their contracted hours each week.
Nearlyhalf (47 per cent) said they were working an additional day’s worth of overtime per week, with 13 per cent working an additional 15 hours.
Charles Elvin, chief exec of the Institute of Leadership & Management, said: “When you add up all the skipped lunch breaks, early morning conference calls and after hours emails you see just how widespread the extra hours culture is within UK business.”
A key driver of overtime was managers feeling the need to keep up with workloads (53 per cent). The main out-of-hours task was catching up with emails (78 per cent), followed by reading documents (32 per cent) and dealing with time sensitive matters (30 per cent).
Elvin added: “Of course, all organisations face busy periods when employees will feel motivated to work above and beyond their contractual hours. But excessive hours are not sustainable – there are only so many times you can burn the midnight oil before your performance, decision making and wellbeing begin to suffer.”
One cause of this would appear to be smartphones. Almost two thirds (60 per cent) said they use their personal phone for work matters and 86 per cent regularly check their emails on evenings and weekends. A hardcore 21 per cent check their work email more than ten times per day out of office hours.
“Smartphones are a fantastic enabler of flexible working, but we see here that they can also lead to some rather unhealthy behaviours, such as the obsessive checking and sending of out-of-hours emails,” Elvin continued.
“We all know how stressful it can be to receive an urgent late night email when you feel compelled to respond immediately. Organisations can help address this with some clear guidelines on email etiquette, including when best to send and reply to important messages.”
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