Employees of small businesses are working unpaid overtime worth £1.6bn a year, with young staff taking on the most extra work.
An average worker for one of the UK's 15.7 million SMEs does an eight hours of work every week, according to card payment firm Paymentsense.
This comes as another study today revealed that many SME bosses take fewer than five days off a year.
For those aged between 18 and 24, the additional workload is even higher. Younger workers do an average of 11 extra unpaid hours week.
Nearly half (42 per cent) of those surveyed said they were feeling more stressed as a result of overtime, and 36 per cent said they rarely or never got credit from bosses for their extra effort.
Yanis Zisis, marketing manager at Paymentsense commented: “Our own research has shown that an early Friday finish, the chance to work flexible hours, and enough time off throughout the year is beneficial to both employees and business owners given its impact on productivity levels.”
Top reasons for staying late
The survey also found the top reasons employees siad they ended up sticking around in the office.
|Last minute request from client or customer||39 per cent|
|Last minute request from boss||37 per cent|
|Meetings overrunning at the end of the day||34 per cent|
|Keeping up with admin||32 per cent|
|Attending meetings at client or customer locations||24 per cent|
|Equipment or computers playing up||21 per cent|
|Manager’s poor time management||20 per cent|
|Their own poor time management||19 per cent|