Recession: Worst Work-Life Balance But Better Training

What would it take for your work-life balance to achieve corporate wellness? Shorter hours? More money? Not according to new research, as a survey has found that working shorter hours or earning a higher wage does not necessarily make people happier with their work-life balance.


Recruitment firm Randstad found that the average British employee works 37 hours and 40 minutes a week and earns £505.90, but only 59% were content with their work-life balance. Despite Londoners working the longest week of 38 hours and 24 minutes, 61% were satisfied with their work-life balance. In the North-West, work-life satisfaction was, at 63%, higher still, even though workers in this region had the lowest levels of pay in the UK, at £455.10 per week. At 64%, the most content workers were found in the south-east and Yorkshire & Humberside, but these regions had differing pay levels of £536.60 and £434.70 respectively.


According to Mark Bull, managing director of Randstad UK, ‘Work-life balance has become something of a national concern in the current economic climate as many people are under increasing pressure in both their professional and personal lives. But this research proves that the key to better balance is not simply to work shorter hours or earn more cash. A more holistic approach is needed to find rewarding work that interests and engages us. It’s not simply about putting up with anything in return for more money or time.’


The results of the survey also revealed that the recession’s “destabilising” effect on the nation’s overall work-life balance has had a “hidden benefit” – people embarking on their careers post-2007 were often working at a higher level than their job title suggested. Out of the recession has come a need to upskill rapidly, which has created a new generation of hyper-talented professionals,’ said Bull. ‘Accelerated learning in small teams with stretched staff can speed up development, allowing passionate high flyers to shine and improve their promotion prospects. A new cohort is emerging in Britain’s workforce which, thanks to the financial crisis, has excellent experience – albeit perhaps, at the expense of their work-life balance.’

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