Workers took on more unpaid overtime during pandemic out of fear of losing their job
Workers have taken on more unpaid labor during the coronavirus crisis than they did in the years prior. This was shown in a study among 32 thousand employees worldwide by the human resources management software and services company ADP.
The number of unpaid hours performed by employees during the pandemic jumped up to 6.5 hours per week, compared to 4.5 hours before the crisis. Two-thirds of employees in the Netherlands reported working unpaid overtime every week. A quarter of Dutch respondents even said they performed 6 to 10 hours of unpaid labor weekly.
Many employees work overtime or tackle a higher workload because they are concerned about losing their job, ADP stated. More than 75 percent of respondents said they changed their behavior due to job insecurity.
Working from home caused private and business life to melt together, said Martijn Brand, the director of ADP. “The coronavirus crisis and working from home en masse lowered the threshold to ask for overtime. Employees hope to show in this way that they are of extra value to their employer,” he told broadcaster NOS.
Around a quarter of employees in the Netherlands said they feel overworked during the pandemic. In 2018, one out of five employees said they feel their workload is too high.
Brand warned that putting too much pressure on employees can have negative consequences for both employer and employee. “Over time, a worrisome situation can arise where too much is asked from employees increasing the risk of burnout and lowering work productivity.”
On a global scale, workers said they believe they are putting in 9.4 hours of unpaid overtime compared to 8.7 hours before the crisis. Employees who work both from home and on-site reported the most unpaid hours during the pandemic at 9.8 hours per week.