Are you working hard enough? Analysis reveals how agency hours compare with other professions

Estate agents clock up some of the shortest working hours in the UK, analysis claims.

Property recruitment firm Rayner Personnel has analysed Office for National Statistics data on working hours across a number of professions.

On average across the UK, staff work 33.1 hours per week, 69% of the maximum allowance of 48 hours set by the Government under the Working Time Directive.

With an average of 41.4 hours per week, electricians are the hardest working profession, clocking up 86.3% of the maximum weekly allowance.

Police officers (41.2) and plumbers (40.1) also clocked up over 40 hours a week, working 85.8% and 83.5% of the maximum allowance respectively.

With an average of 32 hours a week, estate agents clocked up just 66.7% of the maximum allowance each week, with nurses, clergy, teachers, PAs and hairdressers coming in below them.

Cleaners worked for the least hours a week on average (20.8) accounting for just 43.3% of the maximum weekly allowance.

Josh Rayner, chief executive of Rayner Personnel, said: “Based on the latest data, it would seem that some of the hardest working professions are being underrepresented by the average number of hours worked per week

“For example, teachers may only work roughly six hours a day while at school, but they will most certainly be clocking more hours with the mountains of work they have to mark during their own time.

“In addition, cleaners may work the lowest number of hours as the job is often focussed around shorter shift patterns, but that’s certainly not to say they don’t work hard during those hours.

“The same goes for estate agents. Anyone that has worked in the property industry will know that it’s not your regular office nine to five.

“The average time spent working at your desk is a far cry from the actual reality of chasing paperwork after hours and working weekends to get a sale over the line.

“So the likelihood is that any agent worth their salt is probably exceeding the maximum allowance week in week out.

“Of course, clocking more hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing a better job and in this day and age, it’s very much about working smarter, not harder.

“The digital disruption of the property industry, in particular, has enabled us to streamline many parts of the selling process and this has allowed estate agents to be more productive in a shorter period of time.”

Profession
Average hours worked per week
Working time directive max hours ave per week
Average hours worked as % of max weekly working hours limit
Electrician
41.4
48
86.3%
Police officer
41.2
48
85.8%
Plumber
40.1
48
83.5%
Pilot
38.4
48
80.0%
Engineer
37.9
48
79.0%
Chef
37.9
48
79.0%
Surveyor
37.0
48
77.1%
IT technician
36.5
48
76.0%
Sales/marketing associate
36.5
48
76.0%
Doctor
35.9
48
74.8%
Business analyst
35.8
48
74.6%
Accountant
34.2
48
71.3%
Lawyer / Solicitor
33.7
48
70.2%
Estate Agent
32.0
48
66.7%
Nurse
31.3
48
65.2%
Clergy
31.1
48
64.8%
Teacher
28.6
48
59.6%
PA / Secretary
28.1
48
58.5%
Hairdresser
26.4
48
55.0%
Cleaner
20.8
48
43.3%
United Kingdom (overall)
33.1
48
69.0%
Sources:

 

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12 Comments

  1. smile please

    32 hours per week?! I remember my first part time job.

     

    Most agents i know (who are successful) work 50/60 hours a week.

     

    I guess more like the idea of working for the self employed model, sitting round twiddling their thumbs.

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    1. Bless You

      I’ve worked 50 hours + Since lockdown 

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  2. surrey1

    In 20 years the shortest week I have is now, at at least 45 hours. Most of the time it’s been 50 hours.

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  3. David Clark

    Thank God I’m self-employed or the working hours Police would get me. Just had a health assessment now I’m over 62 and had to calculate hours for the form. 74 hours average working week. Doc said “are you tired?”  er? Is that an issue when it has to be done regardless?

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  4. J1988

    If they go by the hours we’re paid for then yes we do work very short days however I’m definitely doing 50/60 hours most weeks as do many other agents I know. It’s impossible to close the doors at 5:30 and walk away. They should bring in over time salaries for agents and we’d all be very happy indeed!

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  5. Typhoon

    Office For National Statistics are idiots, totally out of touch with reality

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  6. StayGreen

    Missed out farmers working 75 hours a week…

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  7. Industrycommentator

    Given that most agents don’t take the hour lunches their contracts stipulate and undertake unpaid additional hours then using 48 hours as the measure for agents is incorrect. The table shows 32 hours out 48 – I would argue that the 75% ratio should be applied a typical 55 hour agency working week taking agents to 41.25hrs. By the way yet to meet an electrician who works beyond 4pm and beyond 2pm on a Friday 😉

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  8. markus

    ‘Permitted Hours’ FFS! here was me thinking that we still wanted a work/life balance and hours beyond 35/40 were classed as ‘overtime’.

    As for the teachers, my wife is a primary school teacher. Gets to school for 8am, never leaves before 4.30 (except on Friday) and brings home at least an hour or two of work per night, often more of a weekend. Currently due to the social distancing bo11ocks, she doesn’t get a lunch break either as the class group have to stay together and can’t go the canteen.

    Long holiday aside, she still only gets paid for 27 hours a week.

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  9. pmcook1970@gmail.com

    As a self-employed ‘hybrid’ style ‘tech backed’ agent the work usually begins at 8am and often finishes at 9pm. This probably sounds like a long day but because you are at home and have flexibility there may be half an hour here or there taken during the day to deal with family or domestic duties. As with any focused mission, the job is done when it’s done, you won’t want to finish and ‘clock off’ at 5pm in this way of working, keeping going will get your best results to suit your ambitions.
    Added to this the flexibility of this home working life is invaluable on so many occasions. A much preferred existence for me and many others who have experienced this over a longer period and during the recent pandemic lockdown.
    Fairly obviously the more you put in the more you get out, if you are happy listing and selling 5 properties a month then that will take less of your time and effort than 30 plus properties will. What do you want from your business high volumes and the corresponding rewards or a ‘tick along’ fits in around my life approach. This is the beauty of this type of agency operation, no shop to staff 9-6!
    Read more on this style of agency life in this book on Amazon “No.1 Bastard Estate Agent. (someone no longer in their original form) How to Evolve in Property Selling”

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  10. propertypeep1

    Wonder where those who work in the Office for National Statistics fit into this table. Think they may have clocked off early when compiling this list of nonsense.

     

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  11. Anonymous Coward

    My guess would be that the stats, as provided by the ONS, would be of anyone working as an estate agent which would include Saturday staff, part time staff, and etcetera. I would say that given current opening hours and max working weeks, that the average office staffed with several part-time employees to fill in the extra gaps would be sensible.

    Certainly, my employer (not an estate agent) has three admin staff that are all on between 24 and 30 hours a week each to provide suitable cover.  It suits their homelife and the requirements of the business.

    If you add together all of our working hours and divide by the total staff you end up well under 40 hours a week.  I work at least 45 hours most weeks and my boss works even harder.

    I get my salary so I’m not complaining 🙂

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