Only 14% of working mums say they don’t work before or after their hours, according to a Workingmums.co.uk poll.
The poll of over 220 working mums found 41% said they worked outside their official hours most or all of the time. Thirty four per cent said they did so sometimes. Eleven per cent said they were self-employed.
The poll chimes with a recent survey showing more and more people are logging on before they get to work or in the evenings when they get back.
Many mums who work part time say they often have to do more than their hours. One said: “There is a definite perception that part time workers should work beyond their hours and this can mean on days they don’t work/aren’t contracted to work.”
A full-time worker, however, said working round the clock was now expected. She commented: “I work around the clock within my job role and I am a full-time worker. It is very difficult when you’re a single mum, but you have to do it.”
Another said: “I’ve got to meet targets and deadlines and the business always looks out for its bottom line and not its employees – unfortunately!”
Amanda Alexander, director of Coaching Mums [www.amandaalexander.com] advises people who feel they are overworking to ask themselves how much it is affecting their work life balance, how they can harness technology to get a better work life balance and whether long hours are affecting them to an unacceptable degree.
If the latter, she advises them to consider their choices and the benefits and drawbacks of these.
“If their work culture is truly expecting them to work beyond the hours that they are paid and it is unacceptable, then it’s time to be brave and stand up for yourself OR to get out – that doesn’t have to be drastic, but once you have made a decision, set your sights on an alternative,” she says.
“I’m not saying it’s straightforward or quick, but if you’re working in a long hours culture, the only way anything will change is if YOU make the decision to change.”