Employers profit from striking a balance
Tina.Freed / 11 Sep 2015
Britain’s healthiest companies don’t want workers chained to their desks. Taking time out from work improves mental well-being and boosts long-term productivity.
It may seem ideal for a company to have staff who never go home or use their holiday entitlement and who want to spend every evening in the office. After all, that spells dedication, right? Not necessarily.
Regularly working more than 48 hours per week can significantly affect health and well-being. From a business point of view, long hours can reduce productivity, squeeze out education and training, and help to exclude women from certain jobs, put pressure on family life and parenting and result in disaffected staff.
Trades Union Congress statistics show that workers in the UK currently work the longest hours in Europe, take the shortest lunch breaks and enjoy the fewest public holidays.
Recent YouGov stats show that many UK workers do not take their full holiday allowance and allow their work to bleed into holidays.
YouGov reports that from 2013-2014, 24 per cent of employees did not take all their holiday leave, but rolled it on to the next working year, and 7 per cent did not take all their leave and were unable to roll it on.
Vitality UK chief executive Neville Koopowitz says: “To be at your most effective and productive in any job, you need to spend some of your time away from it. UK employers are increasingly aware of the importance of work-life balance, and the body of work in this field of research is rapidly growing. Studies have shown that people who can work flexibly are more than 7 per cent less likely to report a stress factor.”
The results of the Britain’s Healthiest Company survey show that the attitude of UK employers towards work-life balance and flexible working are improving.
Some 49.9 per cent of the companies surveyed reported that their employees were able to work flexible hours, more than 50 per cent had done so from home and only 14.3 per cent had worked more than 48 hours in the previous week.
This commitment to ensuring staff don’t spend too much time at work is reflected in the initiatives of the Britain’s Healthiest Company award winners.
As more companies place greater importance on work-life balance opportunities the question to ask is how can I be involved?
Formed in recognition that flexible working arrangements provide the framework for balancing work and home commitments successfully, E2W are a certified women run and owned financial services consultancy with a twist. The twist is the talent pool, typically women, who want to take control of their own career management.
Join the E2W network community and discuss topics of interest with other like-minded people and share a little about yourself.
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