All Work and No Play Makes Britain a Dull Nation

Burnt Out Brits Are Working 66 Million* Overtime Hours Each Week, for Free 



  • Majority of UK-based employees now work an extra day (8.73 hours) each week, on top of their contracted hours (70%) for which almost half are not compensated (43%)
  • Around 4 in every 5 people don’t get to leave work on time most days (79%)
  • Most UK employees feel forced to work through their lunch break to get work done (71%)
  • Over a third of the UK’s workforce are not able to take 100 percent of their annual leave entitlement (37%)
  • Most Brits would prefer to work four longer days, rather than five shorter ones (93%)

OnePulse, the UK’s leading opinion app, has today revealed that UK employees are working an additional 66 million hours of overtime each week, without being compensated.

The ‘Work it Out’ Report, commissioned by OnePulse and published as part of the National Work Life Week (3-7 Oct 2016) asked 2,000 UK-based employees for their honest opinion on their work/life balance, which has presented some harsh realities.

Each week 70 percent of UK employees are working an average of 8.73 hours’ overtime, and 43 percent will not be paid for their time – amounting to approximately 66 million unpaid hours of work*. The research from OnePulse shows that 50 percent of employees feel stressed and tired at work, with only a quarter stating they feel happy and valued in the workplace.

Employees who took part in the research claimed overtime includes working through their lunch break (71%) and after hours (79%). Over a third of UK-based employees say they are not able to take 100 percent of their annual leave entitlement, due to excessive workload (37%).

A large majority of those who took part (93%) said they would prefer to work longer days for four days a week (10.5 hours) and have a three-day weekend. The majority of UK-based employees say their weekend is spent recuperating from their busy working week, leaving little energy to do ‘out of work’ activities (66%).

So, how are employees being compensated for working overtime? overwhelmed-employee

  • No compensation – 46%
  • Extra pay – 28%
  • Time off in lieu – 13%
  • Flexible hours – 13%

Nick Walter, OnePulse Chief Marketing Officer comments on the findings:

“As both an employer and an employee, work/life balance is always an interesting debate. The real issue here is the taboo nature of working overtime today. Since the start of the UK financial crisis in 2008, there was a nervousness amongst employees, who were urged to up their game to keep their jobs – and this is the hangover – who is going to speak out? 

“Simultaneously, the rise of ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) into the workplace and innovations in digital technology and improved access to high speed internet, ‘work’ is no longer only possible in the office – work is everywhere we turn. 

“We created OnePulse for this reason entirely – a chance for the nation to speak out on issues that are not acceptable around the water cooler.” 

Every day OnePulse gives SmartPhone users the chance to share their opinions on issues that matter. Visit to seek, or share opinions.

 *70% of the total UK workforce (23.25 million) do an average of 8.73 hours’ overtime = 154 million hours (and 43% of 154 million = 66 million)

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