Staff do £35bn of ‘free’ work every year

People working in the finance and professional services sector do nearly £35bn of “free” work a year by answering business calls and emails while out of the office, reports The Telegraph.

The figure has been calculated by specialist recruiter Marks Sattin after employers and unions in France last week struck a deal ordering employers in the digital sector not to contact staff out of of work hours.

The average professional in these sectors spends 2.1 hours per day responding to calls and emails outside work hours, according to Marks Sattin, which equates to 9.2 extra weeks of work per year – some 19.1m extra weeks across the whole finance and professional services sector.

The recruitment group based its calculations on recent research which discovered that average pay in finance and professional sector is £32.10 an hour and 2,058,500 are employed in the industry.

Dave Way, managing director of Marks Sattin said: “Obviously no one can be expected to work 24 hours a day and it is important people get time to switch off from work.

“However, in many sectors, particularly in financial and professional services, being responsive is vital, especially for people who work internationally across time zones.

“Having to tell a client or contact in New York at midday local time that you can’t respond to their queries will be extremely damaging to the French economy. The numbers we have calculated show just what is at stake.

“However this could be another feather in London’s economic cap if we see an influx of high quality professionals from across the channel looking for a more competitive financial and professional services sector and perhaps international companies relocating offices here.”