The question of how many hours a person should work per week, while covered by the Basic Conditions of Employment legislation, is more of a subjective issue. In practice, it is often down to a matter of passion, of feeling valued and recognised, and of mental approach which determines the hours put in.

HR and access control experts emphasise the fact that the work environment is radically different today, with aspects such as time no longer measured the same way they have been in the past.

They believe that with the advent of mobile technology and growth of connectivity across most sectors and industries, as well as social networking, today there is every possibility of being able to work offsite, from any location at any time.

This means that employees today have the means to access corporate networks, company information and databases from any point.

“Time is far more relative today. Yes, the length of hours worked per day, per week and per month and the way this is measured does depend on the industry or sector. It also depends on which stage an employee is at in their career. However, the explosive role that technology plays means that people have more opportunity to develop their skills, fine-tune their work and improve their performance beyond the conventional 45 hour per working week,” says Teryl Schroenn, CEO of Accsys.

“The law is quite clear on how many hours should be worked in a week. If someone is prepared to work longer than what is required, do you tell them not to? Or do you allow them to carry on? If someone has a passion for their job, it does not feel like work and working longer hours becomes voluntary,” Schroenn continues.

The view of HR specialists at Accsys who believe that hours worked are more about engagement than the traditional nine to five approach.

Whilst some companies may take advantage of the ‘always-available’ employee, creating unhappiness and a feeling of being used, we have to accept that entrepreneurs/business owners are happy to work much longer hours when they are producing for themselves.