In 3 Britons Are Unhappy With Their Work-Life Balance;

New research has suggested that the majority of Britons are happy with their work-life balance, with those working in the healthcare, travel and marketing being the least happy.

Almost half of UK workers would rather take a 20 per cent pay cut if it meant they could spend more time at home with their families, according to new research*. Over 2,000 workers asked if they were happy with their work-life balance and almost two thirds (64 per cent) stated they were not.

When prompted to explain the reasons why, the majority (73 per cent) stated that they felt guilty for not spending enough time with their spouse and/or children. Those who were least unhappy with their work-life balance were found to work in ‘healthcare’ (16 per cent), ‘travel’ (14 per cent) and ‘marketing’ (12 per cent). Whereas, it was found that people who were self-employed (54 per cent), Vets or those working with animals (33 per cent) and teachers (26 per cent) were found to be most happy with their work life balance.

The top reasons for not being happy with their work-life balance were found to be:
  1. I don’t get paid enough for the hours I work / I don’t get paid overtime – 66 per cent
  2. I don’t get very much time with my children between work and them going to bed – 64 per cent
  3. I feel I am missing my child/children growing up – 56 per cent
  4. I feel guilty that I don’t spend enough time with my partner – 58 per cent
  5. My work pattern is not the same as my spouse’s – 20 per cent


Asked what they would be happy to do in order to get more time with their family, almost half (49 per cent) would consider taking a pay cut and cutting their hours, whilst one in three (33 per cent) would like to be able to work from home or work flexitime.

Almost all of those who would be happy to cut their hours and their pay (85 per cent) would consider dropping one day at work and losing 20 per cent of their income, with just 15 per cent relishing the idea of cutting even more hours.

Tara Hall, spokesperson for said,

Balancing a full time job and personal life can be really difficult, especially once you’ve got children and other family members in the mix too. It’s no surprise that so many workers are unhappy with balance they’re currently getting, but it’s interesting to see how many would be willing to settle for less income to improve it. Unfortunately, a lot of people just aren’t in the position to lose out on pay, which is where we think employers can be doing more to support workers who are committing to long hours in the office.

*Research by

Interested in workplace wellbeing and employee rewards? We recommend the Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum 2019 and Job Design for Good Work and increased Productivity training day.





Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!

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