Britain is a nation of workaholics

09 January 2020 by Grace Coleman
blog author

Unwinding after work appears to be a thing of the past in Britain, with four out of 10 adults confessing they can’t switch off from their job.

While almost half of the 2,000 office-working respondents who took part in the study admit they enjoy their work, 65 per cent hate the fact they’re constantly bringing it home.

With one in six employees often spending more than 11 hours a week working while they are away from the office, checking emails and making calls, there are various workaholic warning signs.

These include working through lunch breaks and at weekends, while also always being the last to leave the office, according to respondents.

Just three per cent admitted they manage to leave work on time every day without taking on additional work.

Geoffrey Dennis, chief executive of SPANA, which provides free veterinary treatment to working animals in developing countries, said: “It’s clear workers in Britain have a strong work ethic and often put in long hours, going beyond the call of duty for their employers.

“However, must of us are fortunate that, despite the daily grind, we do have adequate annual leave, lunchbreaks and weekends away from work. Sadly, it’s a very different story for working animals overseas. Day-in, day-out, these animals work in punishing conditions, often carrying backbreaking loads in punishing conditions, with no holidays, retirement or the rest they need.”

A third of Brits think they would be considered a workaholic by others – and 39 per cent fear they are living in denial of being a workaholic. Many wake up in the night thinking about work and a third check emails as soon as they wake up, while 30 per cent of those unable to switch off even check emails throughout the night.

After all the hard work, many agreed that it has taken its toll on their relationships – with one in five prioritising work over their personal life.



1.    Never taking a lunch break

2.    Working on weekends 

3.    Always being the last to leave the office              

4.    Waking in the night thinking about work              

5.   You can’t stop yourself checking your emails on your phone while in front of the TV

6.   Always taking your work laptop on holiday with you

7.   Always being the first in the office          

8.   You check your emails in the middle of the night              

9.   Never ignoring calls from clients, even in personal time

10.  Phoning into work on your day off to check everything is okay  

11.  Never ignoring a call from the boss, even in personal time

12.  Feeling anxious and uneasy when not working 

13.  You ignore your family when they are talking to you because you’re working     

14.  Your partner regularly accuses you of working all the time           

15.  Regularly missing the children’s parents evening and sports days             

16.  Waking long before your alarm clock worrying about the day ahead        

17.  You work even when watching your child at their various sports or clubs              

18.  Your children pick up on the fact you are working all the time     

19.  Offering to cover for people when it isn’t your turn to work       

20.  You see your boss more than you see your partner