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Getting the best work-life balance

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by Startacus Admin

work life balance
Guy Moreve is the Head of Marketing at Paymentsense one of UK's fastest growing tech companies. Here, Guy writes about the importance of work-life balance in the UK workplace, based on a recent Paymentsense workplace survey.

Getting the right work-life balance is important to build a successful career at the same time as making the most out of your life by enjoying the things you love with the people you love.

It turns out though, that workers in the UK find it difficult to let go of work outside of the office.

We at Paymentsense surveyed workers across the UK, asking questions about people’s overall work-life balance. Most workers think they do have a good work-life balance but when asked if they worry about their workload when on holiday almost 40% of people replied yes and 35% regularly don’t go to their doctor’s appointments because of work commitments.

As stated by HMRC, Brits can’t work more than 48 hours/week, unless they officially state that they want to. However, many workers in Britain work more than this per week.

64% office workers have said that they stay behind after work at least twice a month, and almost half of them stay behind on a weekly basis. This suggests that most people are working over their usual hours.

Is work becoming part of our home life?

Most people find it easy to switch off at the end of the day and leave work in the office but for many, it’s a lot harder to clock out and let go. 

Almost half (43%) of office workers who receive work emails outside of work check them when they’re at home, and 20% have their mobiles set up so they receive work emails straight to their phones, making it even more accessible to work overtime without realising it.

A holiday is a time for rest and to enjoy your life outside of work but for 38% of respondents, while on holiday, they still worry about work not being completed when they get back. 

Worse than this, over half (52%) of office workers have admitted to coming into work even though they are unwell because of pressures at work to get everything completed. 

work life balance

How can you get the right work-life balance?

It is important to get the right work-life balance to look after your health as well as your career. While 72% of office workers said they have a good work-life balance, 59% admitted their work affects their personal lives, so what can you do?

By law, all employees have the right to request flexible working. And, according to our survey, 46% of employers already offer it as an option to their staff, this is the best way to offer an alternative to working when life gets in the way, like traveling to work, doctors’ appointments and family commitments. There are many different forms of flexible working, including:

  • Remote working (such as working from home)
  • Flexitime (such as starting later or finishing earlier)
  • Job sharing
  • Compressed hours

Being able to adapt your work schedule to fit around other commitments can greatly improve your work-life balance, and almost three-quarters of people working in this type of environment think it has improved their lives greatly. 

Take matters into your own hands

Promotions in work also seem to improve people’s work-life balance. Over half of managers who have been promoted from non-management roles feel their work-life balance is now better than it used to be, and it has given them a sense of value in the workplace.

On the other side, becoming your own boss and starting a company has proven to be a popular choice for 2018, 20% say they want to start a new business this year.

There is no way to ensure that each individual gets the right work-life balance because it all depends on your lifestyle and working ambitions but making these small changes can make a big difference.  If your employer doesn’t offer flexible working, ask why and try your hardest to avoid work emails when you’re not in the office.

For more advice, learn about the pros and cons of working from home and explore different ways to keep your employees happy and engaged at work.

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Published on: 26th January 2018

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