UK Financial Professionals Working Longer than Contracted Hours

Nearly three in four (73.4%) UK financial professionals say that they are working longer than the hours stipulated in their contracts, according to the 2014
Morgan McKinley UK Working Hours Survey
.

The financial services recruitment firm conducted 636 telephone interviews with the working hours survey questionnaire last month. Respondents are professionals on the firm’s database, engaged in specialist disciplines such as accounting and finance, audit, compliance, IT, human resources (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 the firm’s regional offices in Surrey, Sussex, the South West and Thames Valley.

Commenting on the survey results, Hakan Enver, operations director, 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.”

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.” said Enver.

The individuals working the longest hours are 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,” said Enver.

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