UK IT staff working nearly as much overtime as law enforcement

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IT workers rank among some of the most overworked employees in the UK, new research has revealed.

A survey of 1,000 UK workers conducted by Moneypenny found IT professionals are the second most likely group to stay behind to finish their work, ranked behind those employed in law enforcement and security.

The report shows IT workers clock up an average of 30.8 hours of overtime each month, which ranks as the third highest amount of overtime in the UK. Law enforcement agents were found to work 35.2 hours while those in business, consulting, and management recorded 32.24 hours of overtime.

One-in-four UK workers who work overtime are not being compensated for their extra work, the study also revealed. 

In addition, Moneypenny’s data found 84% of UK workers reported they felt pressure to work additional hours in order to meet the demands of their job.

Information technology roles have a reputation for being strenuous and having an ‘always on’ culture which has negative impacts on employees’ work-life balance.

Recent research from the Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIISec) revealed the cyber security industry in particular is plagued with issues including stress and overwork.


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Nearly a quarter of security workers surveyed by CIISec reported they were working more than 48 hours per week, with 8% of respondents working over 55 hours per week – which constitutes unsafe working practices according to the World Health Organization.

Furthermore, nearly half of senior InfoSec professionals revealed they could leave the industry within the next five years as a result of the mounting stress they are experiencing, according to separate research from Gartner.

Impact of IT’s diminishing work-life balance on employees

Moneypenny’s research shows the gruelling hours many IT roles require have marked negative effects on workers’ physical and mental wellbeing.

Over a quarter of respondents admitted working overtime had negatively impacted their physical health, and 22.8% said the same about their mental health.

The data reveals 15% of workers also said the time demand of their job had impacted their social life heavily and had caused problems in their relationships.

Burnout is an increasingly prevalent issue plaguing staff across the IT sector, particularly in cyber security as heightened threat levels demand workers commit more time to their role. 

Senior people officer at Moneypenny, Fiona Armstrong, highlighted the importance for businesses to effectively manage their overtime practices to ensure their employees’ well-being is safeguarded.

“Caring for your employees and managing overtime is a critical practice for any business leader. In a world where performance and productivity often dominate the conversation, remember that a well-rested, engaged, and content workforce is the true driving force behind success.”

Solomon Klappholz
Staff Writer

Solomon Klappholz is a Staff Writer at ITPro. He has experience writing about the technologies that facilitate industrial manufacturing which led to him developing a particular interest in IT regulation, industrial infrastructure applications, and machine learning.