Work-life imbalance as Irish workers miss out on €92m in lost wages per week

17 Jun 2014

Workers in Ireland are putting in longer hours than they are contracted for each week and are missing out on €92.7m in unpaid wages, according to the latest Citrix Work Life Barometer.

Flexible working options (43pc) and opportunities to work from home (41pc) have been highlighted by professionals as the main methods of tackling the current business culture and helping to restore work-life balance.

According to the research, which was conducted by iReach Insights for Citrix, four in 10 professionals are working longer hours than they are contracted to without receiving overtime or time in lieu. 

The average amount of unpaid overtime a typical employee puts in is six hours every week. As a result, the entire workforce spends about 4.2m hours working for free, which is the equivalent of €92,736,000 based on the average hourly wage.

The research found that 55pc of professionals have admitted to suffering from work-related stress over the past year and 31pc of workers are dissatisfied with their current position.

Employees in mid-level positions suffer more than their peers and they have been dubbed as the ‘Squeezed Middle’, as they are more likely to work longer hours without overtime (55pc) and are more likely to be dissatisfied with their job (32pc) than other working professionals.

Some 21pc of working professionals who own their own home would consider moving in order to shorten their commute.

Irish professionals often struggle with their work-life balance, with 31pc of the workforce dissatisfied with their current job as a result. Some of the main factors for this are an overbearing workload (40pc) and lack of flexible working options (28pc). 

Is shifting to flexible working the answer?

“Technology now enables us to work from anywhere, at any time,” explained Citrix Ireland country manager Grace O’Rourke Veitch.

“We need to move from judging people on how long they spend at their desks to evaluating them on the work they deliver. 

“By realising that people do not have to be in the office nine to five, employers will be able to benefit from a more content and healthy workforce, while also attracting the best talent available.

“One of the other main reasons why we need to shift to flexible working is due to issues with the property market – many professionals are spending long periods of time in their cars or on public transport. 

“Twenty per cent of professionals who own their own home would like to move in order to shorten their commute, but they are effectively trapped due to negative equity or rising property prices, particularly in Dublin,” O’Rourke Veitch said.

Empty pockets image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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