Maybe It’s Because I’m A Londoner: Why UK Capital’s Employees Work the Longest Days

27th April 2015

A recent poll by NGA Human Resources shows that Londoners work the longest days out of all workers in the United Kingdom. However, figures also suggest that it is not salaries or a work/life balance that motivate them, so what does? Here, we look at why Londoners continue to work longer days and what they believe they deserve in return.

Nine Hours and Counting

People working in England's capital city, London, are among those who work the longest days throughout the whole United Kingdom. Currently, 33% of workers in London work in excess of nine hours a day, far beyond the national average. Although these long hours appear cause for concern, Londoners are relatively happy to work them provided they receive adequate benefits from their company.

Most people in today’s employment sector place a lot of importance on work/life balance – however, the results of the poll reveal that this is less important to workers in London, who would rather have entirely different benefits.

What Keeps the Capital Working?

80% of the UK’s workers cite a good salary as the motivation they need to remain in a position or work beyond the call of duty, whereas 76% of Londoners deem this important. As previously mentioned, the work/life balance is also less important to Londoners than the rest of the United Kingdom, 67% nationwide versus just 59% of London’s workers. So if salary and work/life balance aren’t motivating them to keep working long days, what is it that does?

The two main reasons why the capital’s workers are happy to continue working incredibly long days are the potential of travel opportunities and the cultural fit their company has within the scheme of things. This means that more weight is given by Londoners to the way in which a company brings together likeminded individuals and how they and their personality fit as one of a team. Being given opportunities to travel and break up the monotony that can come with working long hours is also a draw that many of the capital’s workers find more important than their paycheque.

Why is London Different?

It is hard to understand why people working in London could have such a vast difference in opinion as to why they remain in a position, however businesses must realise that there are different strokes for different folks. City living inspires a quick pace and a more nocturnal attitude than would be found in a smaller town or one with fewer cultures present. The idea of working late into the night may not be quite so daunting when one lives in city that never truly sleeps.

Moreover, the work/life balance could have less importance due to the fact that working longer hours within a company that promotes understanding and diversity may not actually be a negative thing. Feeling comfortable in yourself whilst at work can heighten productivity and lessen the need for more personal time, as personal needs are met somewhat whilst at work.

These trends suggests the difference between London’s workers and the rest of the nation needs to be acknowledged and that recruitment techniques need to be adjusted to this end. A company with one office in London and another in Reading for example will need different recruitment strategies that are geographically targeted.
"more weight is given by Londoners to the way in which a company brings together likeminded individuals and how they and their personality fit as one of a team."