The average tradesman works between 41 and 50 hours a week, more than bankers (40.9 hours), medical practitioners (38.4 hours), barristers and judges (36 hours), and accountants (35.6 hours)*. A fifth of tradesmen work more than 50 hours a week, compared to the UK average of 36.4 hours**.
In addition to a long working week, tradesmen are also not taking the annual statutory holiday entitlement of 28 days, with one in six taking fewer than 10 days’ leave each year. Just one per cent take more than an hour for lunch and three quarters skip it altogether.
The research from Electricfix showed that, even when they aren’t at work, tradesmen never truly ‘clock off’ with a third spending their leisure time doing DIY and nearly half (47 per cent) catching up on business admin.
However, there are ways tradesmen can reduce this pressure, claims Electricfix.
Sandra Everett, senior marketing manager at Electricfix, commented, ‘We know how hard tradesmen work, but the research really brought home how many hours they are putting in each week and how stretched they really are.
‘For a lot of tradesmen, time is money, and so any opportunity to squeeze in an extra job is snatched up. This can mean long working hours and driving further from home to increase their workload. However, by finding ways to work more effectively, they can cut their working hours.
‘Tradesmen have told us that using technology allows them to work more efficiently, by helping them to communicate with clients, invoice jobs and buy supplies for their business.’
Other findings from the research include:
· 58 per cent of tradesmen take fewer than 26 holidays per year
· 87 per cent of tradesmen are driving the same amount or more this year (2012 vs. 2013)
· 62 per cent of tradesmen eat a packed lunch each day
· Tea is the most popular drink (57 per cent of tradesmen choose this)
· Eight out of 10 tradesmen skip meals while working
· Average lunch break for tradesmen is 10 – 20 minutes
· 73 per cent of tradesmen think they don’t take enough exercise
· 17 per cent of tradesmen walk to work
· 83 per cent of tradesmen are working the same hours or more this year (2012 vs. 2013)
*The Times Education Supplement 2012
** According to the Institute of Education May 2013