The British Heart Foundation has classified long working hours to be anything over 55 hours per week, and 35-40 hours per week as standard working hours.
Research had shown that, out of the 85,495 participants they studied, 5.2 per cent of them worked long working hours, whilst 62.5 per cent worked standard hours.
It is becoming increasingly common for employees to work over their contracted 37.5 ‘full time’ hours a week. Physiologist Gabriella explores the impact.
According to the working time directive, employees should be required to ‘opt in’ to work more the 48 hours a week, depending on the industry. However, this doesn’t mean that you should strive to achieve the maximum! The number of people in Britain working above these hours has risen by 15 per cent since 2010, and this is affecting their health and putting additional strain on the health services and benefits systems. The Trade Union Centre has also reported that full time employees in Britain worked an average of 42 hours a week in 2018, which is nearly two hours more than the EU average and equivalent to an extra two and a half weeks a year. While these are accepted as the average working hours, research has suggested that humans are capable of productively working in an office environment for a maximum of 4 hours per day, meaning that the other hours are just filled in some capacity. The current culture of working does not suit everyone, so how can you prioritise your work-life balance and work smarter, not harder?
Experiment with ways to prioritise your work-life balance. What works for someone else might not work for you, but there are always more options.