Over the last decade the complete lack of a ‘Work Life Balance’ within the UK has been a growing concern, and a topic that is regularly debated. However, despite the awareness of this issue, the working hours over the last decade have actually increased rather than decreased.
It is common place for Britons to be working 48 hour weeks, which is a significant difference to our French neighbors that work on average 35 hours per week. Workers in the UK are currently working the longest hours in Europe, take the shortest lunch breaks and have the fewest public holidays.
The European average working week is 40.3 hours per week, which lead to the TUC general secretary to state that “Britain’s long hours culture is a national disgrace”.
The working week is officially limited to 48 hours which is regulated by the ‘European Time Directive’, however with the technological developments giving easy internet access and the introduction of smart phones, workers in the UK are reporting a complete loss of privacy and family time.
In many European countries the technological advancements have helped to promote a more flexible working lifestyle, but in the UK it has had the opposite affect with workers now feeling under increasing pressure to opt out of the working time directive, 1 in 25 managerial staff members are working at least 60 hour weeks and many claiming the need to still take work home with them.
Long working hours are having a negative effect on motivation, turnover and absence levels within the workplace with the ‘Mental Health Foundation’ reporting 40% of mental health related absence is linked to work induced stress and anxiety, with the CIPD stating the average cost of absence was £554 per employee in 2015.
‘The Telegraph’ recently reported that over 2 million UK nationals have emigrated from the UK, the majority of which have gone to the likes of Australia and the USA, statistics suggesting that 56% of emigrants gave work related reasons as the main factor for leaving the UK.
Other countries produce more, earn more and work far shorter hours. We should and can do the same if employers, unions and the government work together.
MP’s across the board are now insisting on a culture change in the hopes of reducing the amount of our professionals emigrating abroad for the much desired ‘Work Life Balance’.
Companies and organisations across the UK are now being urged to find an acceptable ‘Work Life Balance’ for their employees, to find ways for staff to work smart and be more productive while working fewer hours.
It is now an employer’s responsibility to provide for their employees needs sufficiently, and ensuring a sense of well being and with this in mind ‘Employee Benefits’ are now becoming a key factor in the workplace and fast becoming a necessity for a company to retain their employees.
Adecco released a report stating that 24% of employees claimed that the introduction of Employee Benefits made them feel appreciated and helped to improve their view of their workplace, additionally UK Companies that have already implemented an Employee Benefits scheme saw an 84% dramatic rise in staff retention.
By introducing an Employee Benefits platform to your employees, you will greatly increase your staff retention rate as well as encouraging motivation within your workforce and in turn helping you to increase productivity.
Our Inspired Rewards platform is specifically designed to help small to medium companies to offer the now expected benefits platforms at affordable rates.
Average working hours in the UK were mid-range across all EU member, the UK position (mid-range) was distorted by the fact that, compared with most other EU states, the UK employed a high proportion of part-time women workers (working fewer than 30 hours a week). However, a direct comparison amogst full-time employees across the EU, showed the UK have higher levels of long hours working (over 48 hours a week), the UK had 22% the highest level of long hours working in the EU compared with an average of 11% across the other EU member states.