Unpaid Overtime

Why Working For £0 Extra Is Killing Us

Claire McGregor


Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash

Let’s talk about unpaid overtime. Do you work for free too? I’ve been feeling pretty damned burned out lately. I have no energy, and my lack of motivation means I’m neglecting my health. I’m falling back on processed foods and takeaways and not exercising. I know it’s bad for me, and I need to take action, but I am honestly struggling.

So, why am I burned out? Well, firstly because I am doing unpaid overtime. I work in finance, and there are very tight deadlines for month and year-end. I work as part of a very small team where there is no cover if you’re off work. In June, I caught covid and then later in the month had 3 days holiday booked. It’s taken me until now to catch up.

During July’s month end, I worked an average of an extra hour a day for a week. On my final deadline day, I worked all day, then from 9 pm to past midnight. As a result, my energy levels are at zero.

In addition to my full-time job, I have a couple of writing clients, so I have to work a few evenings a week for them. Last but definitely not least, I write this blog twice a week, although lately, I’ve only had enough energy to post once a week.

That is all more than enough, but to put the cherry on top, I’m living and working with chronic fatigue syndrome too.

So With ALL That, Why Work Extra?

Considering how much work I do, as well as needing to fit in chores, food prep, a little downtime and sleep, why on earth would I do unpaid overtime? Here are my reasons:

  • Pride. I don’t want to fail at the tasks assigned to me
  • I work for a charity, I don’t want to fail them as they do important work
  • I don’t want to let my manager and my team down
  • Fear that I’ll get into trouble if I don’t meet my deadlines. I was made redundant in the past and am now terrified of losing my job

I’m Not The Only One



Claire McGregor

I’m a writer taking my time to learn what good writing’s about and get my blog off the ground. I want to connect and learn. My Blog https://www.cmoomuses.com