A Scottish Widows report has found that people find it difficult to maintain a healthy work/life balance in the face of long working days and significant commutes.
53% of younger workers aged 18-24 year olds feel that their lives are currently skewed towards work.
Working hours appear to be a contributing factor as the report suggests that employees spend more than 10 hours each day at work (or getting to and from it) while spending less than 3 hours a day with their loved ones.
Parents of children under the age of 18 are especially concerned about their failure to achieve a healthy balance between work and family.
Some of their concerns were:
- 51% of parents feel they are missing out on seeing their children grow up
- 41% say that work commitments force them to let their family down on planned activities
- 48% state they don’t have time to prepare or eat meals with their family.
Employees are looking to their employers to do more to help them achieve a better work/life balance.
60% of workers want to see their employers offer flexible working hours, while 47% want the flexibility to work from home.
The report also found:
- 21% of employees would accept lower pay if they were able to work fewer hours
- 58% of employers would offer employees the same level of support, regardless of family circumstances
- 26% of employees said that their employer offers them the level of support.
There is a growing understanding among businesses that technology and flexible working patterns can help achieve greater productivity and efficiencies in the workplace while also allowing employees to achieve a better balance between work and their personal life.
With this in mind, the business standards company (BSI) has announced a The Smart Working Code of Practice which aims to create modern workplaces that support more flexibility and collaboration to give employees a better work/life balance.
The code of practice is intended for use by organisations of all sizes and in all sectors.
Scott Steedman, director of standards at BSI, said:
“Smart working is about harnessing the potential of flexible working in a strategic way, to deliver benefits both for the business and for employees.
“Employing effective practices is a key goal for all businesses, and smart working is not restricted to one sector, it is applicable to all businesses regardless of size or sector.”