Just 1 in 5 have right work/life balance, study shows

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Despite improvements in technology over recent years, it’s clear that many employees are still not benefitting from the roll out of flexible working. 

A study from Working Families found that just one in five families said they have got the right balance between time to spend with family and the money required to see their family prosper. 

What’s more, over a third of respondents said they do not have enough time or money, with 48 per cent of couples with families and 57 per cent of single parents responding to the survey working full time. 

Worryingly, 72 per cent of parents catch up on work at home in the evenings and at weekends, with 41 per cent admitting they do this often or all of the time. Just a third of respondents said that work pressure had an adverse impact on their relationship with their partner, while a quarter said it resulted in rows with their children.

Many parents identified flexible working as a better way to ensure a good work/life balance, though the job, manager’s attitude or workplace culture often prevented this from happening. 

Mothers and fathers questioned in the study also said they would leave employers who do not provide good work-life balance opportunities. On the other hand, those who provide a good work-life balance would benefit from more motivated and productive employees. 

Sarah Jackson, representative from Working Families, said: “Although the ‘traditional’ pattern of a full time father and part time mother is still evident, it is no longer the most common arrangement for these parents. Although women are still more likely than men are to work reduced hours, it appears that increasingly mothers are working more.”

Ms Jackson went on to say that this could be because of the growing importance of women’s wages, as some families may struggle to survive without two incomes coming in. 

She explained that, in situations where men stall their career to find roles they can combine with their family life, managers must guarantee work is designed in a method that allows women and men to enjoy a strong fit between their work and personal lives. 

As more professionals are turning to flexible working to ensure more productive, balanced lives with ample time for work duties and their personal lives. 

By operating as a contractor, individuals can have more control over their workload and create timetables that suit them, ensuring more free time. 

By Victoria McDonnell

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