HR & Management

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Work-life balance is out of kilter

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The research is worrying, particular for Britain’s mid-sized firms. Nearly two-fifths (37 per cent) of UK managers and staff in mid-sized companies report that they have to sacrifice sleep – waking up too early or burning the midnight oil – in order to fit in personal and work commitments. This is slightly above the all-companies average of 34 per cent.

Important life events are also being missed. One in four working parents at mid-sized firms have missed an important occasion, such as their child’s birthday party, school play or parents evening.

A source of why employees are over-working is the culture of presenteeism that permeates throughout UK business, says Regus, the workspace provider, who commissioned the research among 3,000 UK managers. Indeed, three-quarters of staff say their manager is likely to view workers arriving early and leaving late as the most hard-working.

Lack of sleep is clearly detrimental to workers’ health and happiness, and it is recognised that long working hours are closely linked to heart disease. What can entrepreneurs and company owners do to improve their employees’ work-life balance? 

One key improvement, says Regus, is to implement more flexible working practices.

“With all the talk about flexible working, it’s surprising that so many company cultures, especially in mid-size companies, seem out of kilter with the rhetoric,” says Steve Purdy, UK managing director at Regus.

“They don’t seem to realise the win-win benefits that flexible working can bring on both the employee and company side.”

Currently only one in three mid-sized company managers is currently rewarded for encouraging a flexible work environment, despite 72 per cent of staff believing that flexible working makes them more productive.

Does your business offer flexible working to your employees? Have you seen a marked improvement in employees’ productivity? Leave your comments below.

Picture source: Regus

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