Helping colleagues when you don’t need to, never missing a deadline – and volunteering for more are signs you’re a ‘hard worker’, according to research.

Other signs you’re impressing your boss include having a comprehensive to-do list, getting in early and staying late, and offering to go to boring meetings.

The poll of 2,000 office workers also found eight in 10 of those polled think they toil as hard as they possibly can, every single day.

One in three do so because they respect their boss, and the same amount just love their work – while 42 per cent ‘thrive’ on being busy.

The research, commissioned by working animal charity SPANA, found six in 10 adults think those in the medical or healthcare field work harder than anyone else, as shown by the weekly applause across the nation.

Nurses were deemed to have the hardest job in the country, followed by doctors, paramedics – and police officers.

Sarah DeSouza, 34, a chemotherapy nurse from Leigh-On-Sea said: “I cherish human interaction. I get to know and develop a rapport straight away.

“Sometimes patients don’t survive, I get to know their families very well and it can be really emotional.

“Sometimes after a patient has passed away their relative will call us or write a letter and say they are so thankful for all the support that you are able to give them.

“That just gives me so much reward, that I‘ve made such a difference.”

Other jobs people in Britain believe are harder than any others include farmers, prison wardens and social workers.

Just under one in 10 think TRAFFIC WARDENS have the hardest job in the country, while 17 per cent think sewage workers work harder than anyone else.

Geoffrey Dennis, chief executive of SPANA, which provides free veterinary treatment to working animals in developing countries worldwide, said: “It will come as no surprise that nurses, doctors and paramedics are among those deemed to have the hardest jobs in the country, especially during the very difficult times we are currently facing as a nation.

‘‘In general, most Brits think they work hard each day – and most people are very dedicated in their professional lives.

“However, thankfully, our working conditions in the UK are usually good and labour laws exist to protect workers.

“Sadly, it’s a very different situation for working animals overseas, which endure gruelling working conditions every day.

“These working horses, donkeys, camels and elephants toil for long hours, carrying backbreaking loads, with little rest and no holidays or retirement.”

The study also found 35 per cent of adults think firefighters have the hardest job in the country, but Fire Services watch manager Lee Hollingworth, 40, from Essex said: “I’m in the very fortunate position in that every morning I wake up, and have done for the last 19 years since I’ve been in the service, that I look forward to going to work.

“The team spirit that is generated is very much like working within a family.”

A quarter of those polled also believe social workers have it toughest.

However, while the majority of those polled believe themselves to be hard workers, only four in 10 think they work harder than everyone else they know.

Around 15 per cent of the working population believe they work over and above their working hours every day of the week.

And six in 10 think they deserve much higher pay than they get, for the amount of effort they put in.

But seven in 10 full-time employees find their job much more mentally demanding than exacting a physical toll, while a fifth think the work they do is equally taxing in their mind and their body.

Geoffrey Dennis added: “For the most part, if we feel we’re working too hard we can have a screen break, take some annual leave, or stop for a cup of tea.

“Most people have colleagues they can turn to on tougher days to help pick them up too.

“However, there is little or no support on offer for working animals and their owners in the world’s poorest communities.

“They are among the world’s hardest workers – often undertaking exhausting work, in extreme temperatures and dangerous environments, with inadequate food and water.

“But, a life of work shouldn’t mean a life of suffering.

“That is why SPANA is working hard to improve the welfare of working animals around the world – providing vital veterinary care to sick and injured animals, along with education and training for owners in how to better look after their animals.”


1. Nurse
2. Doctor
3. Paramedic
4. Police officer
5. Firefighter
6. Surgeon
7. Healthcare worker
8. Bomb disposal engineer
9. Farmer
10. Prison warden
11. Social worker
12. Miner
13. Teacher
14. Care home assistant
15. Search and rescue worker
16. Hazardous waste removal worker
17. Builder
18. Oil / gas rig worker
19. Sewer cleaner
20. Asbestos removal operative

1. Helping colleagues when you don’t need to
2. Always meeting deadlines
3. Volunteering for work
4. Always getting everything done on your to-do list
5. Getting through more work than anyone else
6. Getting in early
7. Staying late
8. Keeping a to-do list
9. Never procrastinating
10. Volunteering for meetings
11. Going in when you’re sick
12. Never taking days off
13. Working at weekends
14. Staying late even when you don’t have anything to do
15. Always checking emails on evenings and weekends
16. You don’t chat at work
17. Checking emails when on holiday
18. You don’t use all of your annual leave
19. Never taking a lunch break
20. Taking your laptop home every night


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