Unpaid overtime costing us a small fortune

unpaid overtime

unpaid overtime'Workaholism' is a growing addiction among the UK workforce, with the average worker giving away £5,276.18 in unpaid overtime each year.

The scale of the problem is so big that one in 10 British workers is cramming a whole extra week of unpaid work on top of their working schedules, according to research by Travelodge.

In doing so, we are putting our health in jeopardy, facing the risk of serious psychological and physical burnout. The survey found that 66% of us are experiencing soaring stress levels on a regular basis and 31% are finding it difficult to pull ourselves through a standard week.

The figures

The average Brit is now working nine hours of unpaid overtime per week, in order to manage their workload and keep their boss happy.

Meanwhile, a third of workers give their employer 16 hours - or two extra days - of unpaid work in the course of the week.

Today's uncertain financial climate means more of us are working longer in order to earn more money, often happy of a few extra hours. A third of respondents reported they are working an average of 16 hours a week more than they did five years ago.

However, Corinne Sweet, psychologist and author of Change Your Life with CBT, claims working longer hours will eventually catch up with us in a negative way, stressing the importance of a healthy balance between work and life.

She said: "Cramming an extra week's worth of work into an average week shows danger signs of us becoming a nation of workaholics, heading for serious psychological and physical 'burnout'."

But this is easier said than done as 24/7 access to email is making it harder than ever to switch out of work mode.

Two fifths (40%) of respondents revealed they regularly work at home in the evening, and a third have to put in extra hours over the weekend in order to manage their workload. Over half of British workers even admit to having missed an important family occasion due to work.

Addicted to email

The constant presence of email means that many of us are always plugged into the office, checking our inboxes around the clock.

One in 10 adults surveyed said they regularly interrupt important conversations with loved ones to check their work email.

One in five also admitted to checking their email as soon as they get up in the morning, while 13% of workers even go as far as regularly waking up in the middle of the night to check incoming emails.