What Working Families in the UK Want

New research out of the UK about overworked families was recently released by the Working Families campaign. Survey respondents reported that work dominated their lives and family life suffered as a result. The study also found that the majority of parents feel responsible for improving their own work/life balance. 41 percent of respondents feel that finding another job with an employer that supports work/life is the solution; and 88 percent of respondents believe that an employer should have some responsibility in promoting and helping employees achieve healthy work/life balance.

The Working Families Campaign study also unveiled the following:

  • Working long hours is a major contributing factor to unhealthy lifestyles, which include lack of exercise and poor eating habits, as well as higher levels of stress.
  • Employees feel that they are working longer hours than they should due to heavy workloads and the 'long-hours culture,' a UK term for staying late at work, working weekends, etc.
  • 45 percent of respondents feel they have no flexibility and have a higher level of resentment toward their employers regarding work/life issues.
  • Half of the parents in the survey are unhappy with their work/life balance, and the majority feel that family and children suffer as a consequence.

Child care at the workplace, as well as flexible hours and other work/life policies and practices, are some ways organizations can address the issues outlined above while helping to recruit and retain top employees.

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