In recent years Britains employees have been in the headlines for working some of the longest hours in Europe. A survey from StepStone and totaljobs.com in June 2013, showed that ‘two thirds of UK employees admitted to be dissatisfied with their work life balance, whilst 42% said the stress of work affects their home life’. report
With this in mind employees are claiming that long working hours have left them feeling stressed, depressed and lacking in spending quality time with their families. But as this phenomenon continues and the 24/7/365 looks like it’s here to stay, surely employers should be mindful of this and the effects this has on individuals health.
So how can companies assist their biggest asset, staff?
- Look at the culture reviewing individual working hours.
- Understand the reasons for long working hours, is it expected?
- Would there be bad feeling towards an employee that tries to have a work life balance?
- Can you adopt flexible working practices?
- Is it feasible to offer regular health checks?
- Could you promote physical exercise sessions?
Whilst we remain in times of austerity it may be difficult to implement some of these suggestions, particularly with on-going anxiety over job certainty.
But with more pressure being placed upon marriages, less time being spent with children and families then there may be a case for offering more support to our staff.
If we can accept at least one of these changes then the result is likely to be less stressed employees who are more motivated and engaged.
Do we really want to be known as a country that works long hours and has the highest rates of divorce?
Anita Manfredi of Employer Solutions – QCS HR Expert Contributor