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47pc of Irish workers struggle to call a halt to working day

47pc of Irish workers struggle to call a halt to working day

PA

47pc of Irish workers struggle to call a halt to working day

Almost half of workers feel under pressure to check emails and work beyond their normal office hours.

A new study reveals that 47pc of Irish employees struggle to call a halt to their working day.

The survey by Taxback.com was carried out on the eve of the coronavirus crisis and the situation may be even worse now as the new working-from-home labour force are more likely to graft through a longer day.

Research carried out by private network service provider NordVPN Teams found that workers in the US are logging in for an extra three hours a day now compared to before March 11.

This represents a 40pc jump, while in the UK, France, Spain and Canada, the working day has extended by two hours, while many people start work earlier than before.

When asked if they feel pressured to work outside their set working hours, some 53pc of Irish workers said they are able to "leave work at the front door", according to the Irish Taxback.com survey.

However, 25pc said they go in early or start late, 14pc work extra hours and check emails outside normal office hours, while another 8pc said they check emails when not at work.

Pressure

Chief executive of Taxback.com Joanna Murphy said workers feel pressure from employers and also have high expectations of themselves.

"In light of our current situation, I think it's an interesting insight into what people might be going through now while working from home," she said.

"The 47pc of people who normally find it difficult to switch off from work could be finding themselves in an even more difficult predicament now that the work is at home with them."

She said striking a healthy work and life balance is the holy grail for workers worldwide.

"In Ireland it seems that the reality is that it can be difficult to step away from the responsibilities and demands of the workplace, and to switch off from thinking about it when we do get home," she said.

"I think now more than ever people need to be able to step away at the end of the day, or even before they start work, to take some time for themselves and allow the mind to quieten down from the business of the working day."

She said technology means we can be 'plugged in' pretty much around the clock.

The benefits of technology during this crisis are coming into their own, she said, but warned "we must tread carefully".

"Employers can't expect that workers should be contactable at all times - and workers themselves often have to learn the discipline of putting the phone down, or closing the laptop to give themselves time to relax and recharge," she said. "Easier said than done, I know."

ESRI research found that job stress in Ireland more than doubled between 2010 and 2015.

The biggest causes of job stress were dealing with angry clients and customers, time pressure, bullying, poor treatment, and being under-rewarded for efforts.