I’ve been working on sending out tons of quotes over the past couple of days which has been a bit dull (although kind of nice to see the money I could be generating if they all go through!) so my mind’s been having a bit of a wander.
We have a job clocking in/out system and every hour of our work day has to be accounted for. Whilst this may seem a bit Orwellian, it allows us to work out profits against jobs effectively and also lead me on to today’s little ramble.
At the beginning of each day we receive a print out of the previous days work so that we can check the timings and jobs. I noticed this week that my total work hours were 8.57 hours (how I got it to exactly .57 each day I don’t know!) a day which works out at 42.85 hours a week (and scarily about 14570 hours a year – what??). So I thought I’d do a little research.
According to the Federation of European Employers (FedEE) the average working week in the UK is 43.5-44.5 hours.
Digging around a bit further, we get figures from the GMB showing that whilst the “average” weekly total varies quite a bit across the Country, the average is still quite high (but we do get lazier the further south we are!). From their survey:
Other areas in the UK with average working hours for men above the average for the UK of 40.6 hours per week are: Aberdeenshire 44.3 hours, Thurrock 43.5, Bexley 43.3, East Riding of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire 43.1, Angus and Inverclyde 42.7 hours, Herefordshire 42.5, Rotherham and Lincolnshire 42.4. The East Midlands is the region with the longest average working hours of 41.3 per week.The areas in the UKwith the lowest average weekly hours for men are: City of London37.3, Tower Hamlets 38, Calderdale 38.4, Camden38.6, Edinburgh38.7 hours, Dundee City 38.8 hours and East Renfrewshire 38.9 hours. The UK region with the lowest average working week is London with an average working wee of 39.7 hours.
Considering most of us are contracted to work a 35-hour week here in the UK, that’s a heck of a lot of free overtime our companies are getting! In fact, the TUC points out the true “cost” of our free work:
So, why do we do it? Well the obvious choices are too much work, not enough time, job insecurity and wanting to impress the boss but I don’t understand why, within the whole of Europe, it seems to be a British “phenomenon”.
I’d be really interested to hear what my foreign readers think…
Now, I’m off home, they’ve already had an hour extra out of me today
And for those of you who are interested, “Work Your Proper Hours Day” is Friday 23rd February 2007 so you’ve had plenty of warning to get your affairs in order and finish on time – on that one day at least!
Finally, work out how much your company owes you with the online overtime calculator. I could afford 5 holidays a year on what I’m missing out on!