MORE THAN ONE-THIRD of staff put in extra hours at the office every week – just so their boss will think they’re a hard worker.
That’s according to a new report from Ricoh, conducted by pollster YouGov, which found that 37% of Irish professionals regularly stay late purely so they will look diligent in the eyes of their employer.
A further 80% of the 1,000 surveyed said they have faked their workloads at some point by burning the midnight oil.
Elsewhere in the report – which focuses on the phenomenon of ‘presenteeism’, where employees turn up for work even if they are sick – 36% of respondents said they feel under pressure to stay at their desk after hours because their colleagues do.
Ricoh Ireland’s general manager Gary Hopwood said he was “astonished” to learn that most professionals “have felt the need to fake their workload to get ahead in their careers”.
“It seems that Irish professionals believe the key to impressing management is staying late in the office, rather than producing the best results,” he said.
“These outdated work practices are holding many professionals back and could also be hindering business growth. Employees should not have to fear being punished for not being physically at their desk for 40 hours a week.”
More than half of those surveyed reckon being able to work from home would help them manage childcare arrangements more easily.
Another 45% said being away from the desk would make it more convenient to meet clients.
However, almost a third believe that being ‘out of sight’ would harm their career progression.
The majority of respondents think the government should promote the benefits of flexible working. Many went so far as to say that businesses should be supported by grants and funding for the provision of ‘flexible working technology’.
“The digital age is more fluid than the rigid, outdated practice of ‘presenteeism’,” Hopwood said. ”We need to put platforms in place which support flexible working so that both the employer and the employee can progress and thrive.”
Fora recently polled readers on the topic. More than half said that working late is a sign of bad timekeeping, while just over a quarter think it shows dedication. One reader argued that the practice indicated “poor communication between management and staff”.