In a recent study conducted by The Calculator Site, five locations in the United Kingdom have been identified as having the least stressed employees, based on the mean number of annual paid overtime hours per person.

The research aimed to pinpoint areas least likely to suffer from burnout, utilising data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) for the year 2023.

Topping the list are Barnet and Redbridge, which share the first position with a remarkable annual mean paid overtime of only 16 hours per person.

This figure is significantly lower, approximately 60.97 percent less, than the national average reported in 2023. Notably, employees in Redbridge worked 66.7 percent less overtime compared to the previous year, highlighting a positive trend towards a healthier work-life balance.

Following closely in joint second place are Inner London, Lambeth, and the City of Edinburgh, each with 21 hours of annual mean overtime per person. This represents a 48.78 percent reduction compared to the national average in 2023. Moreover, Inner London and Lambeth have experienced a notable 20 percent decrease in annual mean overtime hours from the previous year, indicating a positive shift in working conditions.

Alastair Hazell of The Calculator Site commented on the study, stating:

“One in five people have taken time off work due to stress and pressure in the last 12 months, according to research by Mental Health U.K. These high-intensity feelings can often lead to burnout, with symptoms including lack of energy, frequent illness, headaches, and a change in appetite or sleeping habits.”

The comprehensive analysis involved examining the mean hours of annual paid overtime in each U.K. local authority, shedding light on the areas least at risk of burnout in 2024. The study encourages employers and employees alike to consider their overtime hours, emphasising the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance to prevent burnout.

Table: The Least Overworked Local Authorities in the U.K.

Rank U.K. Local Authority Annual Mean Number of Paid Overtime Hours (Per Person)
=1 Barnet 16
=1 Redbridge 16
=2 Inner London 21
=2 Lambeth 21
=2 City of Edinburgh 21






Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.