Employees in SMEs work most

A survey conducted by the Fachhochschule für Oekonomie und Management (FOM) demonstrated that the work of executives and specialists is marked by above-average long working hours and regular work on weekends. About 400 executives and employees from the whole of Germany took part in this survey. 6% of those interviewed were self-employed entrepreneurs, 29% executives and 65% employees without personnel responsibility.

The survey also revealed that it is not only the respective position of respondents which determines weekly working hours, but also company size. Another interesting fact: the bigger the company, the smaller the amount of weekly working hours. In particular employees in small companies with up to ten staff work significantly longer than in major companies with more than 100 employees.

Executives and specialists work particularly many hours in Germany. More than 70% of respondents worked at least 40 hours each week. 33% of these work an amount of up to 45 weekly hours. Almost 30% work between 45 and 60 hours each week. And 8% of those executives interviewed even worked more than 60 hours.

Striking is the fact that executives and specialists work regularly on Saturdays too. 55% of respondents said to also work on Saturdays. 27% work at least on one Saturday per month, about 14% even on two or more Saturdays each month. Saturdays are also increasingly used for further training. Furthermore, working hours also correlate with the position in the hierarchy of a company: Self-employed people on average work about 52 hours each week and on 19 Saturdays per year. Executives on average work 50 hours each week and on 13 Saturdays per year, whereas employees without personnel responsibility work 41 hours each week and on 8 Saturdays per year.

Executives consider their individuel work load to be above average. Thus, 50% consider their work load to be high and 19% even very high. The organizer of the study, Prof. Dr. Marco Zimmer from the FOM Hamburg, puts this finding into perspective: “Despite the high work load those executives and future decision makers interviewed are most of the time satisfied with their professional success.” Most respondents (FOM) think that the amount of their holidays is “just right”.

An overwhelming majority of those interviewed recognize the importance of further education. Two thirds of respondents consider it to be “very important”, one third as “important”. This assessment reflects itself in the amount spent on professional further training: 68% said to spend much or very much time on further education.

Details of the study will soon be available on the internet. GERMAN