To mark National Work-Life week last week, a new piece of research on office workers revealed some worrying data. This new YouGov report revealed that one in seven people were unhappy with their work life balance. This is despite 83% of people saying that it’s important for employees to have a good work-life balance.
YouGov’s research was conducted with 1,995 full time office workers in the UK to see what they thought of their own work-life balance and expectations from work.
The demographics of employees most likely to say they’re unhappy with their work-life balance were between the ages of 25 and 34, single and earning £40-£45k each year.
Lack of time
43% of people said that they were regularly sending work emails outside of working hours. The respondents said that the main reason for this was because they were too busy to get everything done within a working day.
Chris Reilly, managing director of My Voucher Codes said that in order to combat this problem, day-to-day planning is necessary. At My Voucher Codes they want to encourage people to enjoy their free time and a good work-life balance is crucial to this.
He said: “I understand that working out of hours has to be done sometimes, but I try and encourage employees to leave work at the end of the day. If it isn’t urgent, then it can wait until the morning.
“The top things to consider when finding a work-life balance is making sure that you plan your day or even week ahead. Keep a diary and plan your deadlines, what you need to do and how you can achieve them. This will help to keep a clear mind. If you do need to work out of hours, come in earlier in the morning rather than stay late, it will keep your mind fresh and you will have your entire evening to yourself”
Impressing the boss
Chris Reilly highlighted that overworking was particularly a problem for younger workers. 41% of 25-34 year olds said that they are under a lot of pressure to work outside of working hours on a regular basis in order to impress the boss.
Mr Reilly said: “It’s difficult when starting out in the work-place after school or University because employees are wanting to make the right impression and it can be confusing getting to grips with the way the office works. My best advice to young employees would be to get involved in the community instead of focusing on staying late to work and get to know the office environment.”
The benefits of a good work-life balance
Having a good balance of work and personal life can reduce stress, help you recharge your batteries and become a better worker when you get to the office on a Monday morning.
A healthy workforce will lead to fewer sickness absences, better staff retention and a more productive atmosphere at the office.
While working past office hours might be a great sign of dedication from an employee, it can signify something more harmful.
It may be that an individual is a workaholic but if this is common practise among your employees, then this could be a sign that the working environment is too stressful or high-pressured.
Similarly, if this is how you as a boss or manager are acting, you could end up having your employees emulating you as you’ve set this as an expectation. So if you want to address the problem of people overworking themselves, make sure you lead by example.
What do you think of this new piece of research? Do you or your employees struggle with the work-life balance? Let us know your thoughts.
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About The Author
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.