22 January 2013

Overtime pushing energy costs up

While overtime can improve productivity and the bottom line for your business, it can also push up energy costs.

Britain’s long working hours could be pushing energy costs for business up significantly, a new report has revealed.

The latest Eurostat report has revealed that staff productivity and work ethic could be costing the businesses more than they bargained for in energy consumption, with the average British worker slogging away for 42.4 hours a week, more than any other European nation.

Just over 3/4 of employees of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) work overtime, with the typical employee working extra hours three days a week. However, the commitment to working longer hours could in fact be costing the company money, with many organisations being burnt by high energy prices.

Save energy out of hours

Anthony Ainsworth of E.O.N said “Our results show many businesses remain fully lit, heated and air conditioned after hours – sometimes for just one employee. With the extent of overtime being carried out across the UK on a daily basis, this has the potential to add significantly to energy bills.”

Only 5% of workplaces have timer systems in place for lights, which means the vast amount of offices rely on employees to turn things off at the end of the day. But while 62% of people think this responsibility lies with the last person out of the office, 1/4 believe it is up to office managers, security staff and cleaners to ‘power-down’.

Work/life balance

Mr Ainsworth added: “At an average of two hours a day, three days a week, it’s clear Britain’s workforce is going significantly beyond the call of duty — and while this can be good for business there are also negative implications.”

“Working very long hours can impact on employees’ wellbeing and lifestyle, preventing people from achieving a healthy work/life balance.”