All work, no play for two million employees who want to be on the job

Click to follow
The Independent Online

More than two million workers are suffering from "work lust", shunning their homes for the office because they find their jobs so rewarding, research published yesterday suggests.

More than two million workers are suffering from "work lust", shunning their homes for the office because they find their jobs so rewarding, research published yesterday suggests.

But those who hate work far outnumber them, with four million people, 15 per cent of the workforce, disliking what they do for a living.

The Work Foundation research also found that income inequality had risen and many workplaces were not fit for their role.

Researchers found that hundreds of thousands of people work as many as 60 hours a week, albeit for high pay.

The study indicates that there are about 2.4 million "workophiles" in Britain - employees who prefer the office to home Seven out of every 10 workers are satisfied with the work they do, the place where they labour and the pay they receive. At the bottom of the pile are the 300,000 people who work as many as 60 hours a week for less than £11,000 a year, meaning they are being paid less than the minimum wage.

"On the whole, work works," said Nick Isles, the author of the report based on a survey of 1,000 people. "The majority of UK workers are reasonably happy with their lot and happy in their work. However, a third are at best neutral about their job and at worst dissatisfied."

The foundation, which has links to employers, unions and academia, reserved its strongest language for the treatment of what it called "genuine wage slaves", those working long hours for low pay. "It should not be possible for people to work more than 60 hours a week and be paid less than £11,000 a year," Mr Isles said. "The Government needs to strengthen the mechanisms for inspecting and reporting bad practice in this area."

Even with four weeks holiday a year, a worker toiling for 60 hours a week for £11,000 would be receiving an hourly equivalent of £3.47, well below the national minimum wage of £4.50.

The answer, it seems, is to work for yourself. More than eight of 10 of the self-employed are happy in their work, compared to less than two-thirds of employees.

"Work has become more intense, too many jobs are poorly designed and ask too much of under-skilled individuals," Mr Isles said.

Comments