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50pc of workers in Ireland feel pressure to work outside set working hours

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Half of workers in Ireland feel pressure to work outside of their set working hours, according to a recent survey.

Five in 10 workers in Ireland say they can leave work at the front door, however, the other half of the working population are grappling with a real or perceived pressure to work outside of their set working hours.

Of those who are struggling to separate “work-time” with “life-time”, a quarter said they either go to work early and/or stay late to accommodate the demands of their job.

The findings are part of Taxback.com’s All-Ireland Employee Survey, which surveyed the attitudes of 1,200 employees throughout the country towards their work/life balance.

The survey found that employer flexibility around hours and location is the number one consideration for 57pc of female workers.

The director of the employee wellbeing service at Taxback.com said the results are similar to the survey conducted before the pandemic in 2020.

Barry Cahill said: “The survey shows a 50:50 split in how workers feel toward their professional responsibilities, with one half feeling an expectation to work overtime or perform work duties outside of normal office hours, and the other feeling very clear on professional boundaries, and being able to leave work concerns firmly at the front door.”

“We conducted this same survey in 2020 (pre-Covid) with very similar results – at the time, 47pc felt pressure to tend to work duties outside their regular hours.

“So, given the transformation in our work patterns as a result of Covid, it’s interesting to see that this attitude hasn’t just emerged as a result of the pandemic and our shift to remote working – it’s something which we’ve clearly been struggling with as a labour force for much longer.

“It is a surprising result in some respects, as one could assume that it would be harder to switch off from work while remote working than it would be when working from an office – mainly owing to having that physical separation between work and home.”

Mr Cahill said striking a healthy work/life balance is the “holy grail” for workers all over the world.

He said employers can’t expect that workers should be contactable at all times and employees have to learn to disconnect from work in order to recharge.

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“In Ireland, it seems the reality is that it can be difficult to step away from the responsibilities and demands of the workplace, and to ‘switch off’ from thinking about it when we do get home,” he said.

“Perhaps now, more than ever, people need to be able to step away at the end of the day, or even before they start work, to take some time for themselves and allow the mind to quieten down from the busyness of the working day.

“While easier said than done, it’s important we all move towards flexible solutions that tackle stress inducing factors at work.”


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