Why are hybrid teams overworking more than others in the UK?

New research by workforce management company Protime has highlighted that not only do hybrid and remote workers in the UK tend to do more unpaid overtime than in-office employees, but there are several key reasons why this tends to happen.

For all the benefits remote work has, and all the ways it can help improve work-life balance for the UK’s workers, overworking is one of the few downsides that tends to happen — not just in the United Kingdom but in North America as well. 

But Protime suggests the overworking problem is not only fixable, but that it must be fixed if remote work is to be sustainable into the future. 


Overwork culture

Studies even before this latest one have acknowledged there is a culture of overworking among remote and hybrid workers in the UK.


The UK has a culture of overworking, according to some experts. (Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels)

There are several varying reasons for this:

  • Readily-available access to equipment at home makes it “tempting” for employees to work in their downtime
  • Some employees feel pressure to overcompensate for the “privilege” of working from home
  • Other employees feel they have to work twice as hard to “prove” their capabilities when working remotely

According to Protime’s research, more than half of employees in the UK regularly perform unpaid overtime work, whether they’re working in a physical office or not.

“The research findings paint a sorry picture of a nation working  excessive overtime — that is working additional, unpaid hours,” the company reported. “A total of 54% of employees are logging between 4-30 hours unpaid overtime each month.”


The impact is more intense for hybrid workers

Protime also found that employees in the UK are more likely to do unpaid overtime when they are working out of office. 

remote work UK

Poor management and unrealistic expectations are at the heart of the issue. (Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels)

While they acknowledged the UK has a general culture of overworking, they found that the shift to remote and hybrid work has exacerbated the existing problem.

“Thirty-three percent are more likely to work unpaid overtime in hybrid or remote working arrangements,” Protime found.

Their research identified the key reasons for this as:

  • Unrealistic workloads — 28% of respondents said the amount of work their managers delegate is unrealistic for their contracted hours
  • Poor management — 29% of respondents feel their managers don’t effectively manage workloads to prevent overworking

Add these issues to the guilt or pressure some employees feel when they work from home and it becomes clear why hybrid and remote workers are more likely to work unpaid than others.

However, Protime UK Country Manager Simon Garrity cautioned that more must be done to get a handle on the overworking culture.

“Based on the research findings, UK businesses face a ticking time bomb in the form of an engrained overwork culture that is burning employees out and undermining productivity, retention and bottom-line performance,” he said.

Find the latest remote work in the UK via RemoteWorker.co.uk.

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