Will anyone in the City observe national Go Home on Time Day?

Catherine Neilan
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Working too long? Perhaps you could celebrate Go Home on Time Day by leaving at 5:30pm on the dot (Source: Getty)
If you're planning on pulling a late one tonight, you might want to think again - because today is national Go Home On Time Day.
No, we'd never heard of it either, which is strange because it's been happening since 2000.
That suggests it's not necessarily succeeding – at least in certain sectors where working late is the norm. You only have to look at most headlines on the subject to see the sceptiscism around the scheme.
But the campaign, run by charity Working Families, does have some interesting points to make.
For example, did you know that 83 per cent of parents don't leave work on time?
And of those, 70 per cent blamed their workload, though more than half said it was the culture of their workplace that kept them chained to their desks well after the official end of their working day?
On top of that, the average UK employee now spends nearly an hour – 54.6 minutes according to the TUC – travelling to and from work. For Londoners, it's more like 77 minutes.
Fancy finishing on time for once? Working Families has some suggestions for how to encourage your colleagues to clock off (though we're not sure they will all have the desired effect):
  • Ask a senior manager to announce that the organisation is taking part in Go Home on Time Day, encourage everyone to join in and discourage late meetings or travel on that Day.
  • Raising money for charity can help encourage people to join in.
  • Put up notices to remind people. You could add the date reminder to your email signature too.
  • Nominate someone to be the “Go Home on Time” officer for the day on 24th September, especially if your workplace suffers from “can’t be seen to leave first” syndrome.
  • Try deciding on a company-wide “Lights off” or “Lock-out” time – get a senior manager to make it happen on the day.
  • Use Facebook and Twitter to let everyone know you are taking part.
There is, of course, a serious point to be made about cutting back working hours, particularly for those in the City. Last year the financial sector came under scrutiny after Moritz Erhardt, who was working as an intern at Bank of America Merril Lynch, died after pulling a series of all-nighters.
But in general, working hours are falling and have been in decline since 1998, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), and we are now eighth in the OECD for long working hours, though the number of workers in Britain who think their job involves very hard work is now the second highest in Europe after Ukraine.
The same piece of research shows the rate of Brits working more than 48 hours each week is only slightly above the EU average.

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