Nearly one-third of UK employees work non-standard hours, research shows

Up to one-third of UK employees work outside traditional working hours, research has found.

A survey conducted by banking firm First Direct,  in conjunction with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, found that staff working between 5pm and 9am add £180bn to the economy.

‘Five-to-nine’ generally refers to people who work in shifts, work flexible hours or simply work on into the evening. It represents more than 16% of all hours spent at work.

First Direct believes this amount of money will more than double by 2027 to £450bn, while the proportion of the workforce in non-traditional hours will grow to 35%.

Chief executive Chris Pilling said: “British business has faced up to the challenge to deliver services around the clock. As a result, it’s no longer just factory workers and bar staff who work unusual hours. We’ve seen a fundamental change in working patterns, with ever-increasing numbers of workers embracing flexi-time, job shares and other innovative working arrangements.”

Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, a not-for-profit organisation which encourages firms to embrace flexible working initiatives, said: “Shifting working practices to meet market demands, such as 24×7 service, is vital for competitiveness.

“Apart from significantly improving productivity and competitiveness for businesses, adopting new smarter working practices will also help employees achieve a better work-life balance, reduce the stress caused by work and long daily commutes, with associated health impacts, and have a positive effect upon family life,” he said.

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