According to new data, over half of UK employers recognise that their staff are working additional unpaid hours every day.

The research from Cendex has found that staff at over half (53 per cent) of UK organisations are working unpaid overtime daily, as the pandemic has permanently changed working culture.

When asked why they feel this is, employers concluded that the lines have been blurred between work life and home life due to the pandemic as many employees were forced to work from home.

Remote working means that the working day is less defined, and nearly a third (30 per cent) of employers say this has influenced when staff begin and end their day.

Whilst many have claimed that the pandemic has changed methods of working permanently, this data has shown that many employers think the 9-5 working day is a thing of the past, over two thirds (67 per cent) agreeing that the traditional working day is no longer fit for purpose.

Respondents suggested that the traditional 9-5 working day is being replaced by a culture of fluid and flexible working, as businesses evolve as a result of the pandemic.

Nearly a third (33 per cent) of UK organisations reported that staff are now working an additional one to two hours a day, and just over a fifth (21 per cent) said that staff were working a massive three to five hours extra, unpaid, each day.

Only a third (33 per cent) stated that staff were not working any additional unpaid hours, suggesting that burnout and wellbeing issues could be an imminent problem for many organisations.

Scott Walker, Managing Director at Cendex, commented:

Remote working has grown in popularity over the last year and while it’s a perfect fit for some, this data has shone light on a major pitfall of the initiative.

In the past, employees often took their work home with them, but throughout the pandemic and now as we head towards a hybrid-work future, it’s really coming to the fore.

The line between work life and home life is now blurred, resulting in a spike in working unscheduled hours. This will no doubt impact not only individuals’ wellbeing, but their performance and productivity at work too.

*In order to obtain this research, this survey was conducted by Censuswide in April 2021, surveying 254 Directors, senior managers and middle managers who contribute to the decision making process in HR in companies of 250+ employees across the UK.





Megan McElroy is a second year English Literature student at the University of Warwick. As Editorial Intern for HRreview, her interests include employment law and public policy. In relation to her degree, her favourite areas of study include Small Press Publishing and political poetry.