03 September 2015

It seems working 9 to 5 is not the way to make a living with many Irish professionals revealing that the traditional working day no longer applies to their roles. In a survey, released today by Matrix Recruitment Group, 72% of the 700 full-time workers polled said that they work outside traditional office hours, with almost half (45.9%) doing so every day. Workers believe the typical eight-hour day is outdated with over half (59.8%) checking work emails during their downtime. In fact, 66% of those who check emails outside of the office admitted to checking on a daily basis, meaning workdays no longer end when people leave the office. This is despite the fact that 72% of workers polled are not paid for overtime and 68% do not receive time in lieu.

The national survey by Matrix Recruitment Group, polled full-time workers across a variety of fields including Accounting, Finance, Administration, Customer Service, Digital, Engineering, Financial Services, HR, IT, Manufacturing, Marketing, R&D, Sales and Science. The survey investigated if the idea of a 9-5 workday was outdated and it appears that it is, with workers more ‘constantly-connected’ to their jobs than ever before. When comparing industries, the study found that employees in sales roles check their emails outside of traditional working hours far more than those in other sectors. 78% of those in sales admitted to logging in during evenings and weekends in comparison to 54% of accountants and 55% of those working in IT.

When asked if working outside of traditional office hours was a choice or an obligation, the poll was split - 48.6% felt it was a choice while 51.4% felt it was an obligation. Of those who regularly checked emails outside of typical 9-5 hours, the reasons for doing so varied. While a quarter (25.6%) felt it made their job easier and helped them to manage their time better, some respondents (12.2%) had such a heavy workload they felt they had no choice.

Other respondents gave different reasons for their constant connectivity. Some respondents (11.4%) said it was the culture of their organisation to stay connected outside of work hours, while 16.4% blamed their smartphones, saying having their emails to hand constantly was the reason they checked in on work so frequently.

It seems ‘mental overtime’ or an inability to switch off, is also a factor for today's working professionals. Emails aside, 70% of workers don't stop thinking about work until they fall asleep while 75% wake up thinking about their jobs.

Following the results of the survey, Joanne Foley, Branch Manager for Matrix Recruitment’s Dublin office gave her insights, ‘There are no major surprises here as thanks to our smartphones we are all “constantly connected” and it seems work is no exception. This clearly has advantages for employees and employers such as being able to work remotely and more flexibility with office hours but, it can also set expectations of such flexibility among employers and co-workers. Technology is not the sole contributing factor to longer working hours however, as the sector you work in and your own interest in your role will also play a part.’

It isn’t all work gloom however with annual leave remaining sacrosanct. Less than a third of workers (29%) check in on work during annual leave, so it seems when the phone is off, it is staying off! Matrix Recruitment Group provide recruitment, HR support and career guidance services, with offices based in Dublin, Waterford, Athlone, Galway and Carlow.

For more information please visit www.matrixrecruitment.ie