Overtime costing Australian employees

A 9 to 5 working day used to mean just that. Clock in at 9am, complete your work in the 8 hour window and then go home.

However, this isn't the case anymore, with more Australians pushing to finish tasks after their contracted hours.

This is according to the recently released Morgan McKinley Working Hours Survey 2014 that polled executive professionals from Australia as well as four other Asian countries.

The main figure to come out of the survey was that 91 per cent of Australian professionals are working longer than their allocated hours. Close to half (45 per cent) of respondents indicated that they spend 10 or more hours completing tasks that were given to them during the working day.

While nearly all industries face this problem, three sectors particularly stood out – financial services (49 per cent), technology (9 per cent) and retail (8 per cent).

It is interesting to note why this is occurring. One thesis argues that many employees are overworked and trying to complete the tasks of two people. Another argument suggests workloads are increasing, but deadlines aren't.

Joint Managing Director at Morgan McKinley Australia, Vanessa Harding-Farrenberg, explained some of the possible reasons why employees are working so many extra hours.

"Employees are constantly connected via technology even once they have left the office and a globalised workforce means working across multiple time zones," she said.

"In addition, increased competition in the workplace means individuals are under greater pressure than ever to perform."

Overtime is also affecting the personal lives of 92 per cent of respondents, according to the survey. If this is beginning to be a problem, employers are recommended to step to lift some of the pressure.

To reduce the number of overtime hours workers face, businesses could install workflow automation that streamlines basic HR processes creating an easy-to-use system for employees.

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