· 1 min read · News

Working long hours can be a waste of time

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Forty per cent of UK workers stay in the office longer than necessary, according to new research.

A fifth of employees say they are expected to work extra hours, due to the UK’s so-called presenteeism culture. Yet the Right Corecare report finds that long hours do not always result in increased productivity, with a quarter of those who stay late using the time to surf the internet, while a sixth admit to working late just to make a good impression on their boss. Just over a third say they stay behind to get work done.

While 15% of workers believe staying in work longer will help their careers, only 8% have received a pay rise or promotion as a result. Older workers (45-plus) are more aware of this fact, with just 10% of them believing those who put in more hours are perceived as harder workers (compared with 21% of those aged under 45).

"It’s clear many people believe the only way to get ahead is to be visibly seen as hard-working by bosses and colleagues,” says Adrienne Heeley, director of work/life services at Right Corecare. “As the economy slows down and employees become concerned about their positions within an organisation, this problem could worsen – with staff seeking to secure their jobs by being first in and last to leave.”