Long-hours culture saps tech productivity

Regularly working more than their contracted hours is having a negative effect on the morale of UK tech workers

Working long hours is having a negative impact on many UK tech workers as it hits morale and cuts into valuable leisure time.

According to research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), 83 percent of managers in the IT sector regularly work more than their contracted hours.

On average, IT managers work one hour 18 minutes more than their contracted requirements per day, adding up to around 40 days per year.

Just over half of respondents (51 percent) said the long-hours culture in the UK affects productivity and 42 percent said excessive working hits morale.

The long hours are also eating into recreation time, with 66 per cent saying being stuck in the office limits their exercise time. More than half (58 per cent) said long hours means they also don't have the spare time to develop new skills.

Working long hours isn't out of choice either, with just a quarter of respondents saying they choose to and 49 percent saying they work longer hours to meet deadlines or deal with their volume of work.

On the other hand, many workers said they aren't pressured to work extra hours by their bosses, with just two percent saying they are and three percent saying they work longer merely to get ahead with their work.

The report claims women are better at controlling their workloads, with just 16 percent of women working more than 48 hours per week compared to 35 percent of men.

Jo Causon, marketing and corporate affairs director at the CMI, said organisations are being forced to use their staff more intensively but this will create longer-term problems if the long-hours culture isn't kept in check.

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