The effects of the economic downturn are putting extra pressure on office staff, forcing one in 10 of them to put in the equivalent of an extra day's work every week, a new study has revealed.
The research for recruitment consultants Badenoch and Clark found that the longer hours were being compounded by employers not replacing staff who resign or go on maternity leave in a bid to save money.
The effect has led to an increase in the number of people feeling unhappy in their job, with one in four of more than a thousand adults polled complaining about work.
The findings show that the credit crunch was now starting to take a "significant toll" on office life in the UK, with workers aged between 45 and 54 being most likely to work longer hours. Banking and finance jobs were the worst affected, according to the report.
The study identified the "sweatshop culture" as being the cause of a wave of resignations, with one in 20 people handing in their notice as a result of the extra pressure.
Neil Wilson, managing director of Badenoch and Clark, said: "People are being asked to put in more hours in the office and that is clearly starting to take its toll."
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James Wright from law firm Irwin Mitchell's employment team said: "Employers should be aware that aside from staff retention issues, long hours cultures can mean employers are liable for claims under working time legislation. Excessive hours may also be cited by employees claiming stress and may cause sickness absence. Employers should attempt to minimise such issues by putting appropriate policies in place."