Workers are clocking up 12-hour days working out of the office – survey

27 Jun 2012

Online back-up service provider Mozy conducted a survey of 1,000 employees and employers worldwide and discovered that ‘working nine to five’ is nothing more than a catchy lyric and, while employers are adopting a more flexible approach, access to tools outside of the workplace needs improvement.

The study involved employees and employers from Ireland, the UK, Germany, France, and the US, and found that 73pc of bosses had a relaxed attitude to time-keeping, trusting staff to be working long before they even arrive in the office.

This was proven true by employees’ responses, which revealed that the average person starts checking their work email at 7.42am, gets into the office at 8.18am, leaves at 5.48pm and stops working fully at 7.19pm – meaning employees are working for nearly 12 hours a day.

New 9 to 5

The new nine to five

While employers believe their employees spend an average of 55 minutes a day working away from the office, the reality is that the average employee reckons they’ve clocked up 46 minutes of work before they even arrive there.

While one-third of British workers are up with the lark and logging in to check their email at 6.30am, just 5pc of Irish employees do the same. In fact, Irish employees are the latest to log in across the board, with 75pc logging in from 8am, and 60pc of those log-ins coming after 8.30am.

Email log-ins

The time workers tend to log into work emails on a normal working day

Flexible time-keeping

The advent of mobile technology is what has made these long working hours possible, and employers are becoming more flexible in its wake.

Taking Irish employers, for example, 63pc of those surveyed would allow their employees to turn up late – the second most lenient out of the five countries. Of these, 30pc will accept only up to 15 minutes late and 25pc up to 30 minutes, but anything more than an hour is generally unacceptable.

Conversely, 54pc of Irish employees surveyed believed their employees did not accept tardiness at all.

Remote access denied

Though these figures reflect a shift towards a more mobile workforce, not all tools are available to employees away from the office. Of the Irish employers surveyed, 70pc provide remote access to email but only 25pc give employees access to all company resources outside of the workplace. Overall, just 11pc of employees surveyed said they could access all of their work tools remotely.

Remote access

Resources employees can access remotely

However, a more flexible attitude to work is becoming more apparent among employers who recognise that much is being done out-of-hours – particularly Irish bosses. Compared to a quarter of employers globally, half of Irish bosses are OK with staff downing tools to enjoy a chat with colleagues and regular tea breaks, and 45pc allow employees to take longer lunches. Unsurprisingly, Irish employers are also twice as likely as British bosses to let their staff leave early for the pub.

Image of time via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke
By Elaine Burke

Elaine Burke was editor of Silicon Republic until 2023, and is now the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. Elaine joined Silicon Republic in 2011 as a journalist covering gadgets, new media and tech jobs. She later served as managing editor before stepping up as editor in 2019. She comes from a background in publishing and is known for being particularly pernickety when it comes to spelling and grammar – earning her the nickname, Critical Red Pen.

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