05/25/2012 (press release: Online PR) // Hannah Roberts
Over 1m business owners work 9 hour days as standard
Of course, when the bottom line is that the success of your business rests on you, there’s always going to be a massive motivation to keep going when a regular employee might not.
Will Lindsay, Regional Director at Clydesdale Bank, comments: “We’ve calculated that around 1 million UK business owners are working more than 45 hours per week, with almost two thirds of those putting in over 50 hours, far more than the UK average working week of nearly 43 hours.”
No one needs reminding of the tough period we’re going through currently, and that the immediate future remains unclear. This means taking on, or even justifying the wages of existing staff, is difficult for many small businesses right now.
Lindsay continues: “Owners, who often don’t draw much of a salary or pay themselves overtime, are rolling up their sleeves and working extended hours to ensure their customers are looked after, and their businesses survive. It’s understandable that they don’t want to close for holidays, or spend money on overseas trips, but it is worrying that they don’t seem to take time for themselves.”
The Bank’s latest research also indicates that more than 2.5 million small business owners UK-wide haven’t had a single day off sick in the last three years.
Over 75% of employees work overtime for no extra pay*
Whilst business owners are putting in the hours to make ends meet, the pressure on employees to demonstrate their effectiveness means they too aren’t shying away from the reality of working unpaid overtime.
Annual research conducted by the TUC suggests that 1.9 billion hours of overtime were worked by employees last year, worth £29.2bn to the UK economy and confirmation that Britons work some of the longest hours in Europe.
The study found 5.3 million workers put in an average of 7.2 hours of unpaid overtime a week, worth around £5,300 a year per person. Among professional staff, this figure rose to 9.5 hours extra each week, worth a whopping £9,000 a year per person, it was revealed.
Workers in London and the South East carry out the most unpaid work, with 26.9% and 25% of employees likely to work extra hours for free respectively. In addition, older employees are increasingly working unpaid overtime, and working beyond their traditional retirement age in general, because of fears over a loss in income.
Lindsay concludes: “Whether you’re a business owner or an employee, being healthy and on top of your game is an important part of succeeding in business. Investing time in your physical, mental and social well-being can be every bit as valuable as cash is to your business.”
*According to a recent online poll conducted by The Guardian.
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