New research from bed giant, Dreams, has revealed that Brits’ can’t stop working overtime, no matter the place or time of day.

Stats show that 62% of employees work at home, after their contracted working hours, more than once a week. Of those that work overtime at home, 33% spend between 1 and 2 hours working after their contracted hours are officially over that day. This equates to an average of 4 hours extra a week – or 192 hours extra a year (after taking off 4 weeks’ worth of holiday from the 52-week calendar year).

It seems that working at the kitchen table isn’t prime position either with 47% checking their work emails in bed. 54% check them first thing in the morning when they wake up. A restless 6% check their emails during the night.

These people are hugely compromising their sleep. 77% of workers actually waking from sleep due to thinking about work. 11% wake up every night! Those of us able to switch off however, still dream about our jobs (52%). The main story lines feature our boss, being late for work, and failing to meet what is expected of us.

Despite 25% of workers sacrificing their usual bed time to work late, 22% have sacrificed catching up with friends. 16% have even cancelled a date or dinner with their partner for work. A staggering 62% of workers say they would sacrifice their plans at least once a week for work, with 11% sacrificing them every night.

Consequently 63% agree that logging into work outside of work hours affects their ability to wind down and go to sleep. 69% of workers say that working outside their hours has created tension in the household.  Half of those that have children say that they complain about them working whilst at home. Men feel the household tensions more (31%) than women (18%). However, home technology seems to be a popular reason for working outside of hours at home, with 25% saying it is easy to access emails and documents.

It is 50/50 whether workers hide that they work outside of formal working hours from their colleagues or not. Half of those that do hide it from their colleagues do so to look as though they are on top of their work. Worryingly 22% feel that working at home is the only way they can fit all of their work in during the day.

Women find it easier to leave their work in the office, with 54% of men working from home past contracted hours at least once a week, compared to 55% of women. 54% of men check their emails from the comfort of their bed, versus 38% of women. Furthermore, women are less likely to sacrifice their plans to work late at night (55%), than men (70%)

18-35’s are more likely to check their emails at home 4 or more days a week . Millennials (under 35s) spend 3 days a week working at home after their contracted working hours are officially over. This compares to over 35’s who spent on average just 2 days a week working at home. This means that under-35s spend 9 hours a week working overtime at home. That’s 432 hours a year (after taking off 4 weeks’ worth of holiday from the 52-week calendar year).

In addition, 80% of workers aged under 35 have sacrificed their plans to work late. This is compared to just 54% of over 35’s who have done the same.

Finally, the smaller the company the more likely you are to work overtime from home, with 59% spending more than five days a week doing so. This drastically compares with those working for an Enterprise (1001+ employees). Workers here spend 1 hour working after their contracted hours are officially over. Those working for companies with less employees, spend on average 2 hours working overtime. Also, those working in an Enterprise are less likely to sacrifice things to work late. Only 46% cancel or change plans. This is compared to 76% in medium sized companies (50-249 employees) and 58% in large companies (250 – 1000 employees).

View the full case study here to find out how we carried out this research and the coverage it generated.

Dreams Bed Hygiene ResearchE-On Old Technology Hoarding Research