One in two (52%) people consider work-life balance, a key contributor to good mental health, a priority when job hunting, according to a survey of 2,000 UK workers by Glassdoor. 

The pandemic brought the mental health of workers into sharp focus. 

However, two years on and new Glassdoor data shows that employee discussions around burnout, overwork and mental health continue to increase. 

New research by the Glassdoor Economic Research team found a steep increase in mentions of burnout, overwork and mental health in employee reviews between 2019 and 2022. Burnout saw the largest increase, soaring 86 percent, while mental health mentions climbed 21 percent and overwork 15 percent, indicating many workers are still struggling to find a good work-life balance. 

 

Which companies are getting the balance right?

The top 10 UK companies for work-life balance are:

  1. The Office for National Statistics (4.6 Glassdoor Work-Life Balance rating out of 5)
  2. Heron Foods (4.6)
  3. Fidelity International (4.5)
  4. ServiceNow (4.5)
  5. AND Digital (4.5)
  6. Hyperoptic (4.5)
  7. Bank of England (4.4)
  8. Sage (4.4)
  9. MBDA (4.4)
  10. Schroders (4.4)

For the second year running, employees ranked The Office for National Statistics (The ONS) as the best company for work-life balance in the UK, scoring 4.6 out of 5. The ONS is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and is the recognised national statistical institute for the UK. 

Six companies feature who were on 2021’s list; The ONS, the Bank of England, Sage, SAP, Cisco Systems and Salesforce. The complete list of 20 companies is in the notes to editors and can be viewed here

Analysis of  ratings by industry found that employees ranked tech as the best sector for work-life balance, with a rating of 4.0 out of 5. Aerospace & Defence (3.9), Media and Communication (3.9) and Legal (3.8) followed. 

Industries with the lowest work-life balance ratings are Transportation & Logistics (3.3), Retail & Wholesale (3.3) and Restaurants & Food Service (3.1). 

 

Flexible working helps employees achieve work-life balance

When it comes to job satisfaction, Glassdoor’s Economic Research team found that work-life balance is more important to employees than pay. Furthermore, a Glassdoor study of 2,000 UK full-time employees shows that flexible working – whether from home, the office or hybrid – can help achieve greater work-life balance as flexibility allows employees to work in a way that best suits their lives. 

The survey found that the majority of flexible workers surveyed report better work-life balance (59%) and improved general happiness (60%). These employees also feel better able to attend to personal responsibilities, such as caring for children or life-admin (59%) and have more autonomy over their work (70%).

More than half surveyed (53%) also say flexible working has helped with the rising cost of living.

 

Jill Cotton, Career Trends Expert at Glassdoor said: 

“The stigma around discussing mental health in the workplace is lessening, and there is increased awareness of how our mental state can affect our productivity at work and our overall happiness. The Glassdoor list showcases amazing examples of companies which have implemented multiple initiatives to help protect their employees’ wellbeing. This includes offering flexible working which allows employees to balance their home and work lives in a way that works for them. 

“However, there is still a way to go – UK workers remain overworked and burnout is on the rise. Employers need to create a transparent culture and provide a range of support to protect employees’ wellbeing. Workers who are struggling with their mental health or work-life balance should feel comfortable to be open with their team or line manager, and ask for support and help in setting boundaries.”

 

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.