New research has revealed that 84% of Brits feel pressured to work overtime in their job role, with expectations of fulfilling job demands being the top reason for those going above and beyond.

Moneypenny surveyed UK workers to discover who is the most likely to work overtime, along with the impact that working extended hours has on personal relationships and mental health.

The survey revealed that 52% of Brits work overtime each week, with a quarter of those not receiving additional pay for their efforts. With the average overtime amounting to more than two days per week, certain industries stand out as having a higher propensity for employees to exceed their contracted hours.

The industries where workers are most likely to work overtime

When considering the average number of overtime days within a month, the top industry for extended working hours is Law Enforcement and Security, with workers clocking up an additional 12.6 days per month. Recruitment and HR also had a high number of overtime hours, with 45.5% of workers in the field feeling pressure to work overtime to meet job expectations the sector has a total of 12.2 days of overtime worked each month.






Average days worked overtime in a month

Average contracted hours per week % of workers who feel pressured to work overtime to meet job expectation
Law Enforcement and Security 12.6 37hrs 20%
Recruitment and HR 12.2 31.6hrs 45.5%
Accountancy, Banking and Finance 11.7 29.6hrs 50%
Law 11.4 33.5hrs 50%
Creative Arts and Design 11.2 29.3hrs 35%


In contrast, Brits working in Science and Pharmaceuticals clock the least amount of overtime within a month, averaging at 4.6 days despite 50% of those working in the sector feeling pressure to work overtime to meet job demands.

Other industries with the least amount of overtime include Public Services and Administration (5 days), Sales (5.4 days) and Leisure, Sport and Tourism (6.3 days).

The industries less likely to work overtime 





Average days worked overtime in a month Average contracted hours per week % of workers who feel pressured to work overtime to meet job expectation
Science and Pharmaceuticals 4.6 38.7hrs 50%
Public Services and Administration 5 33.1hrs 24.4%
Sales 5.4 33.1hrs 21.4%
Leisure, Sport and Tourism 6.3 32hrs 15.8%


Impact of overtime on staff

The study shows that working overtime, whether driven by job demands or economic factors, has a significant impact on lives outside of the workplace.

More than a quarter (26%) of respondents reported that working overtime had a negative impact on their physical health, while 23% cited adverse effects on their mental health. Additionally, more than one in six workers stated that overtime had caused relationship issues, with one in 12 even admitting that it had led to a breakup.


Has working overtime ever impacted any of the following  
It’s impacted my physical health 26.1%
It’s impacted my mental health 22.8%
It’s caused relationship problems with my other half (e.g. arguments) 15.7%
It’s impacted my social life heavily 15.4%
It’s impacted me being able to spend quality time with my family (e.g. children’s school events, birthdays etc.) 12.9%


In response to the findings, Fiona Armstrong, Chief People Officer for Moneypenny emphasised the significance of caring for employees and effectively managing overtime:

Caring for your employees and managing overtime is a critical practice for any business leader. In a world where performance and productivity often dominate the conversation, remember that a well-rested, engaged, and content workforce is the true driving force behind success.

Fiona Armstrong, Chief People Officer for Moneypenny

Joanne Swann, Content Manager, WorkWellPro
Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.