A good work-life balance is often the most important thing in people’s working lives.
In 2019, a YouGov poll commissioned by Acas found that balancing work and home life was the most important thing to respondents for the year ahead.
Then we fast-forward to this year, with the world having seen a pandemic and widespread remote working since that poll was undertaken. The importance that people place on a work-life balance has only increased. In a recent Randstand survey, 65% of respondents put work-life balance as top of their priority list when seeking a new employer.
That applies to both blue-collar and white-collar workers, with 59% of blue-collar workers putting it top of their list and 68% of white-collar workers.
In light of National Work Life Week, our experts have summarised some of the key ways you can help support your employees and workers in achieving a good work-life balance. There isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution – what works for one individual might not work for another.
However, taking steps to help support your employees and workers is not only incredibly important for their wellbeing – it is also vital for helping keep employees engaged and enthusiastic, which in turn maintains good productivity in your business.
The UK’s current approach to a work-life balance
A Randstand evaluation of current employer offerings revealed that work-life balance is sixth in their order of priorities. Looking at the general perception of what employers across the UK offer as a whole, work-life balance slips down to eighth place, showing a nationwide oversight on the value of a balanced work and home life.
Additionally, the CIPD’s ranking puts the UK 24th out of 25 comparator economies based on a measure of how often job demands interfere with family life.
What causes a poor work-life balance?
The CIPD also found that three in five employees work longer hours than they would like to. Overwork is most common among managerial and professional workers.
It’s also more common among those who work from home, showing that flexible working may not always completely solve the problem of a poor work-life balance and may sometimes cause the boundaries between them to blur.
Factors such as overwork, commuting time, how much work encroaches on personal life and vice versa, and a lack of provision for flexible working can all impact on a person’s work-life balance.
Ways to improve a poor work-life balance
How we can help
As always, please contact us for support in implementing these measures legally and fairly. While some of these suggestions aren’t covered by Employment Law and can be implemented however you see fit, some others – like flexible working – must be introduced through a set legal process.
Our friendly HR & Employment Law experts are here to help, 24/7. If you’re an existing client of ours, please call 0345 844 4848. If you’re not already a client of ours, please call 0345 844 1111 to find out more.
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