-- Survey finds some employees working more than four hours’ overtime a day -- Companies receiving £12K per employee in ‘free labour’
London, 29 August, 2003. Whilst British office workers are escaping for much-needed breaks, many have already worked their holiday entitlements in extra unpaid hours. Almost two thirds of employees work an extra hour or more per day, whilst 13% of employees are putting in four hours or more a day outside their core business hours, according to research findings released today by WRQ, a software company.
The survey also found that more than half these employees don’t get paid for the additional hours spent at their desks and nearly three quarters don’t take their full lunch break entitlement.
Such high levels of over-service means some companies are getting a minimum of 57.5 hours a week from their staff – or eight working days. This renders holiday entitlements and bank holidays virtually worthless as employees eventually work these hours.
“Putting these figures into perspective, for every working week, 13% of employees are giving an extra half a week for free,” says Bob Stream, head of WRQ UK. “It’s as if these British workers are giving their employers supermarket style offers; buy two weeks and get the third free! In monetary terms, this equates to over £12,000 ‘free labour’ per employee each year.
“Even for those employees working just one extra hour a day, this totals more than 30 working days a year – well in excess of most people’s holiday entitlements.”
One root cause of such high rates of overtime is technology, says WRQ. Originally hailed as the solution to all ills, technology was designed to make our jobs easier and make us more productive by speeding up processes and automating many of our activities. However, inefficient technology has simply over-burdened the increasingly stressed office worker. Also, many companies rely on large numbers of disparate, older IT systems that can equal time-consuming labour.
This needn’t be the case though. Software is available that helps companies integrate their systems to save the time spent negotiating different screens and systems, saving time for the employees and reducing overtime overall. This in turn improves the quality of the working environment, thereby improving staff morale.
“How many times have you blamed technology for reduced productivity, wasted hours and slow-downs in activity?” says Bob Stream. “Very often this is due to the lack of seamless integration between a company’s various IT systems. With the right solution, employees can access information quickly and easily, which makes options like working from home or on the move that much easier.”
The situation is notably worse for employees in the Midlands, Wales and South of England, where around one quarter (24% in the Midlands/Wales and 22% in the South) work on average at least two and a half extra hours a day, compared to just 10% of office workers in the North of England and Scotland.
Also, older workers are worse off when it comes to overtime pay. Whilst 47% of 16-24 year olds receive additional salary for any extra hours worked, only 13% of 55-64 year olds do so, with a huge 71% saying they never receive extra pay for overtime.
Summary of key findings:
• 63% of employees work one hour or more per day outside their core business hours
(13% 4+ hours, 5% 3-4 hours, 11% 2-3 hours, 34% 1-2 hours)
• 72% don’t take their full lunch break entitlement every single day each week
(12% manage it 3 days a week, 12% 2 days a week, 8% 1 day a week, 30% never manage it)
• 56% never get paid extra for additional hours worked
(71% of those aged 55-64 don’t, 27% of 16-24 year olds don’t)
This survey was conducted for WRQ in August 2003 by market research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres. The survey results were based on 430 interviews with full-time office workers in England, Scotland and Wales.
For 22 years, WRQ has been developing industry-leading software for simplifying host access and integration. This helps companies cut the time of common business processes. WRQ Reflection® software connects web or Windows desktops to host applications, as well as file and print services. WRQ Verastream® software encapsulates host functionality into services for rapid reuse in web applications, packaged applications, and portals.
WRQ has the highest ratings in the technology sector for quality support and customer loyalty. With over six million users in 51 countries, it is one of the largest privately held software companies in the U.S. Four out of five Fortune 500 companies rely on WRQ daily. For more information, visit http://www.wrq.com/.
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