Two-thirds of UK employees want to redefine work-life balance on their own terms

work life balance

Two-thirds of UK employees want to redefine work-life balance on their own terms, according to new research.

The research, conducted by Glassdoor, found that there is no clear consensus among employees across the UK on what makes a good work-life balance and the current ‘one size fits all’ solution is not meeting the complex needs of the modern workforce.

Furthermore, confusion around what the term ‘work-life balance’ actually means has seen employees continue to struggle to keep home and work in harmony. Despite nearly half of workers taking action to improve the blend of job and home during the COVID crisis, 52 per cent admit that work regularly eats into their personal life and 35 per cent say that a healthy balance simply isn’t possible in their current role.

Employers might consider a refresh of their HR policies as 67 per cent of people in full-time employment in the UK say that what they want from the balance between work and home has changed since the pandemic began.

Two-thirds of workers intend to make changes to improve their current work-life balance and are looking for employers to offer a more nuanced solution to help them protect their personal life. It’s not a simple case of clocking off early or not checking emails after 6pm.

The research makes it clear that in the eyes of employees there is no single definition of the term ‘work-life balance’ and workers want to take control of what it means for them as an individual. For 36 per cent, a good balance between home and work life is flexible working hours. A further 32 per cent want choice in where they work and 23 per cent want a reduced working week.

In contrast, generous paid time-off is important to another 24 per cent and 28 per cent want the ability to switch between work and personal life throughout the day as needed. In addition there is little consistency across gender, age or other demographic.

The findings are published alongside Glassdoor’s 2020 rankings for the UK’s best companies for work-life balance and analysis of the market.

Discover the companies below:

  • Office for National Statistics
  • Softcat
  • Arm
  • Sky Betting & Gaming
  • Mastercard
  • Bank of England
  • Dell Technologies
  • FirstPort
  • Sage
  • SAP

Glassdoor reveals the highest ranking companies for work-life balance according to the reviews of hundreds of thousands of UK employees written between 1 January and 28 September 2021.

Tech companies dominate the list but it is clear that great work-life balance can be found in every industry.

Speaking about the findings, Lauren Thomas, Economist at Glassdoor said, Whether it is the autonomy to set one’s schedule, hybrid working policies or simply trust shown by management that work will be delivered without being tied to an office, it is clear that a healthy balance is best achieved when employees can individualise their approach to work.”

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About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.
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