Is a work life balance a deal breaker?

Is a work life balance a deal breaker? image

Striking the right balance between work and other aspects of your life, such as family responsibilities and hobbies and pastimes, can be very hard.

But that doesn’t mean people won’t take serious measures to make it happen. 

According to a study by Travel Counsellors, half of working people in the UK expect to leave their current job within the next year, partly because they don’t feel they have a good work-life balance at the moment. In fact, one in four people polled cited the desire to achieve a better work-life balance as their main reason for wanting to quit their role. 

Meanwhile, a separate study by HiBob found that many employees are keen to lay down much clearer boundaries between the workplace and their home. More than one in five respondents said they plan to say “no” more often if they’re asked to work late, extend their working hours or increase their workload. In addition, almost a third said proper support for a work-life balance is what motivates them the most at work. 

But despite this clearly being a big priority to British people, the UK appears to be lagging well behind other European countries when it comes to enabling people to enjoy a healthy workplace balance. 

According to research by Spare My Time, Norway is leading the way, while the UK is stuck in 13th place. That’s partly because employees in the UK have the highest statutory working hours of 48 hours a week – 20 per cent higher than the European average. 

So what do these findings tell us? 

Firstly, they suggest that many British businesses could be putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage, both domestically and internationally, by failing to ensure that their staff can strike a healthy balance in life, and therefore feel happy and motivated. 

Secondly, if people are unhappy with their lot, they will actively look elsewhere for an employer that can facilitate their desired lifestyle and help them effectively juggle their various responsibilities and leisure activities. 

As Ronni Zehavi, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of HiBob, puts it: “Employees across the UK are feeling stressed [and] burned out, which is leading them to reassess what they want from their workplace and employer.” He believes that supporting employees’ work-life balance will therefore be a “key differentiator” for businesses in the coming months, as there is “a war raging for attracting and retaining top talent”. 

If you’re among the many people thinking of quitting their job in search of a better work-life balance, it’s really important to firstly make sure you’re standing on solid foundations. Making major life decisions can be much easier if you’re confident your finances are in order, that your money is currently working hard for you and that you have an emergency fund in place. 

Our expert financial planners can work with you to make sure you’re on top of your financial situation and that your money is being invested wisely, so you’re in a position where you can realistically achieve your lifestyle goals. If you have any questions about managing your money throughout a time of transition, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to speak with you. 

It is important to take professional advice before making any decision relating to your personal finances. Information within this article does not provide individual tailored investment advice and is for guidance only. We cannot assume legal liability for any errors or omissions it might contain. Ethical Futures llp is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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