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UK workers demand better work-life balance from employers as 43% say they regularly work overtime

29 April 2022

Story by
Alex Crowther, Senior Reporter, The HR World

UK office workers are putting in overtime hours every single day

New research shows almost half of UK employees demand flexibility (47%) and commitment to providing a work-life (41%) balance from their employers.

Over 40% (43%) of UK employees regularly work overtime, according to data from HR and payroll specialist, SD Worx.

Findings show that employees are looking for freedom to organise their lives and work the best way that they see fit, and for clear cut off points between working hours and personal time.

This is seemingly felt across Europe as 4 out of 10 employees check work-related emails or answer work-related phone calls out of hours.

34% admitted to continuing to do so after the work day ends, and 35% said they had difficulty letting go of work commitments when on leave (35%).

Compared to European counterparts, UK workers feel the most pressure to be constantly contactable via digital devices, with nearly two-thirds (64%) saying so, compared to Finland (52%), Germany (49%), Spain (49%), Italy (48%), Sweden (48%) and Norway (47%).

Laura Miller, HR Business Partner at SD Worx, said: “Employee wellbeing must be a priority for every employer, and that means encouraging teams to truly switch off outside of working hours wherever possible, and especially on annual leave. It’s vital to achieve a happy and healthy workforce,”

“Flexible and hybrid work models are increasingly helping put people in control of their work-life balance, but employees can be left facing performance pressures and anxieties leaving them feeling the need to constantly be online and contactable.

That’s why it’s vital organisations build a culture where teams are trusted, wellbeing isn’t just a buzzword, and employees understand the benefits of resting, relaxing and re-energising if companies want to limit churn and prevent employee burn out.”

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