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Nearly half of managers work an extra day per week unpaid

Almost half of UK managers work an additional unpaid day of overtime every week, according to new research. And 13% effectively work a seven-day week.

The survey by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) shows only 13% of workers think they have a good work/life balance while 94% say they work over and above their contracted hours every week.

Almost two thirds feel under pressure to work extra hours and almost half regularly work through their lunch break. More than half say they work extra hours 'to keep up'.

Almost two thirds of the over 1,000 managers surveyed said they worked the extra hours because of pressure from their organisation, but as many admitted the pressure was partly self-inflicted.

'When you add up all the skipped lunch breaks, early morning conference calls and after hours emails you see just how widespread the extra hours culture is within UK business,' said Charles Elvin, CEO of ILM.

'We asked workers at the start of 2014 what their work New Year's resolutions were, and nearly a third said they wanted to improve their work/life balance. It is sad to see that this is only being achieved by a small percentage of workers.'

A follow-up Guardian online poll of non-managers found that 70% of respondents felt under pressure to work extra hours, 81% regularly worked overtime and 30% added 4-8 hours of unpaid overtime to their workload every week.

Acas publications and services

Acas offers training on Performance management including setting realistic expectations for employee workloads. You can also access detailed guidance on flexible working, health and wellbeing, and handling stress through the Work/life balance range of training courses.

Advice on how to maintain a good balance between work and home life can be found in the Advisory booklet - Flexible working and work-life balance .

For free, impartial advice on any employment relations issue, call the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100, or consult Acas Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training Courses, Workshops and Projects area for more information.

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