£157bn annual overtime leads to ‘nightcations’

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One in ten Britons is squeezing an extra week of unpaid work into their working schedule every week, new reserch has claimed, resulting in more than £157bn in unpaid overtime every year.

The term ‘nightcation’ has been adopted for those who take just a night off instead of a holiday in order to ‘recharge their batteries and boost relationships’.

The survey, by hotel chain Travelodge, claims workaholism is a growing addiction among Britain’s workforce, and a third of Britons are working an additional 16 hours per week, in order to manage their workload and keep their boss happy.

This overtime culture means the average worker puts in 9.1 extra unpaid hours every week, which translates into £5,276.18 in unpaid time every year. Across the working population, this means British workers give away £157.2bn in unpaid time.

All work and no play is creating a relentless pressure on British workers, with 66% of adults experiencing soaring stress levels on a regular basis and 31% finding it difficult to get through the average week.

The research also reveals that job insecurity and having to work around the clock is such a priority for workers that 37% of workaholic Britons are forgoing a long holiday and are instead opting for a series of regular ‘Nightcation’ breaks.

A third of workers believe taking regular one-night breaks throughout the year is better for their wellbeing than taking one long holiday. A quarter of workers surveyed admitted they relied on a regular Nightcation break to help them get through their manic work schedule.

Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge Spokeswoman, said:

“This year we have experienced a significant rise in just Saturday night bookings compared to previous years. To obtain a better understanding of the rationale behind this trend we commissioned research to investigate how the economic crisis is affecting the psychologies of British holidaymakers.

“Our research findings have highlighted that Nightcation breaks are a growing trend amongst Britons as they are an easy to book, cost effective short break that help workaholic Britons recuperate and recharge for the week ahead.”

More than a third of workers recognise that a Nightcation gives their relationship with their partner a much needed boost.

Corinne Sweet, psychologist and author of Change Your Life with CBT said:

“This research is certainly a wake-up call for us to switch off our gadgets and get away from the clutter, pressure and stress of working life. Cramming an extra week’s worth of work into an average week shows danger signs of us becoming a nation of workaholics, heading for serious psychological and physical ‘burnout’.”

Further research findings highlighted that 40% of workers have to regularly work at home in the evenings, and a third have to put in extra hours over the weekend in order to manage their workload.

Cramming in such busy workloads comes at a cost, with relaxation time at a premium. A third of workers spend less than six hours relaxing at the weekend and 60% head into each weekend knowing they won’t be able to get work out of their minds at all.

On top of all this, 24/7 access to email is an added intrusion that makes it even harder for workers to unwind. The constant presence of email means that workers are always plugged into the office and are checking their inboxes around the clock.

One in five adults surveyed said that they check their email as soon as they wake up in the morning whilst 13% of workers stated they regularly wake up in the middle of the night to check incoming emails.

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  1. Google pay their employees for 5 days and ask them to work 4… knowing that on their day off they will look into new techie stuff because they are intrinsically motivated to find solutions…

    Travelodge should commission research into how having that extra day off works in real time to boost productivity and moral… need some volunteers… I’ll join in!

    How about if someone has a company laptop and therefore works from home, they are rewarded with 1 day off and a night’s accommodation at Travelodge ever quarter… great idea… who thought of that 😉

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