One in four would risk health for their job

A third of staff check their emails as soon as they wake up.

A quarter of workers would put their own health at risk to ensure a work task is completed, according to a survey.

A poll of 2,000 office workers by the animal charity SPANA found that many office-based staff found it difficult to switch off when they left the office and regularly took work home with them, which could be affecting their physical and mental health and relationships at home.

One in six claimed they frequently spent more than 11 hours per week away from the office checking emails and making work-related calls. Fifty-seven per cent said they often checked their emails at the weekend.

Employees were also potentially missing out on sleep, with 30% admitting they checked their work emails throughout the night. A third checked their emails as soon as they woke up.

A fifth claimed they had suffered a health problem which could be attributed to working “so hard”. However, 66% said knowingly putting their health at risk because of their job was a step too far.

Geoffrey Dennis, chief executive of SPANA, said: “Being overworked can clearly have some very negative consequences, impacting everything from mental and physical health to quality of relationships.

“Many workers are showing real dedication and hard graft, and it’s not without sacrifices.

“Thankfully, there is an increasing focus on work-life balance, and a recognition that taking time to reset and recover is beneficial all round.”

A study published last month found that office workers who regularly spend long hours at their desks were more likely to experience high blood pressure than those who worked fewer hours per week.

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