The Big Question is an initiative between Computer Weekly and recruitment consultancy PSD. Each week we put the Big Question to top IT professionals to get their take on a current talking point.
IT professionals still routinely work more hours than they are paid for, as illustrated by the one-sided response to this week's Big Question. Not a single respondent polled said they worked only their contracted hours.
Many said the problem was made worse in IT because much of the work was project-based, which came with a constant pressure to hit deadlines. Many also admitted the hours they worked were routinely in excess of the 48 hours-per-week limit set by the European Working Time Directive.
"Workers in permanent posts are far more likely to be working more than they are paid for," said IT contractor Colin Brown. "Even though this can create an overworked culture, many people say it is part of the job and they would not progress if they stuck to the nine-to-five culture."
Competition among workers was cited by many as the primary motivating factor for working extra hours. "Employers are looking for individuals to go the extra mile with no reward," said one IT professional.