Survey reveals mental overtime is a major factor for modern professionals

By Business & Finance
03 September 2015
overtime stock

A national Matrix Recruitment survey finds 72% of professionals work outside typical office hours.

It seems working 9am to 5pm is not the way to make a living with many Irish professionals revealing that the traditional working day no longer applies to their roles.

In the survey, 72% of the 700 full-time workers polled said that they work outside traditional office hours, with almost half (45.9%) doing so every day.

Workers believe the typical eight-hour day is outdated with over half (59.8%) checking work emails during their downtime.

66% of those who check emails outside of the office admitted to checking on a daily basis, meaning workdays no longer end when people leave the office. This is despite the fact that 72% of workers polled are not paid for overtime and 68% do not receive time in lieu.

The survey polled full-time workers across a variety of fields and found many employees are ‘constantly-connected’ to their jobs than ever before.

When comparing industries, the study found that employees in sales roles check their emails outside of traditional working hours far more than those in other sectors. 78% of those in sales admitted to logging in during evenings and weekends in comparison to 54% of accountants and 55% of those working in IT.

‘Mental overtime’, or an inability to switch off, is also a factor for today’s working professionals. Emails aside, 70% of workers don’t stop thinking about work until they fall asleep while 75% wake up thinking about their jobs.

Joanne Foley, branch manager, Matrix Recruitment said: “There are no major surprises here as thanks to our smartphones we are all ‘constantly connected’ and it seems work is no exception. This clearly has advantages for employees and employers such as being able to work remotely and more flexibility with office hours but it can also set expectations of such flexibility among employers and co-workers. Technology is not the sole contributing factor to longer working hours however, as the sector you work in and your own interest in your role will also play a part.”

Photo: Mike McCune