Australians Continue to Work Outside of Office Hours
While the rise of the internet and cloud networks have led to a number of positive changes in the workplace, many Australians are utilising it to work outside of office hours.
Research from Roy Morgan revealed that in an average four-week period, 20 per cent of Australian employees will access the company network from home. The most common method was through a personal computer but 7 per cent participants used their mobile phone and 3 per cent looked at the network on a tablet.
A worrying 11 per cent of employees performed unpaid work from home during the course of a typical month. In terms of total time put into a job, 34 per cent of Australians worked over 40 hours a week, a concern that may need to be addressed through HR consulting.
“Online work networks can be mutually beneficial to employers and employees, but the full impacts on workplace relations and productivity are yet to be realised,” said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine.
While extra work is occasionally needed to account for unexpected events or to meet tight deadlines, there can be long-term negative consequences for an employee’s health.
According to research funded by the Medical Research Council, there was a strong connection between working for over 55 hours a week and increased risk of coronary heart disease.
The research analysed patients who worked “regular hours” (35-40 a week) and those who worked excessively across 25 cases from Australia, Europe and the USA. They concluded that participants who worked longer hours also had a higher risk of stroke than their counterparts.
In the closing comments, the researchers stressed the need for businesses to monitor their workers and manage these risks. HR professionals have a responsibility to safeguard the health of their staff and ensure they are not working excessive hours at home.
Firm should consider monitoring solutions to ensure staff are not sacrificing their personal time and health to work.