As the festive season approaches, concerns about work-life balance are intensifying for a significant portion of the UK workforce, according to a recent survey conducted by life insurance broker Reassured.

The study sheds light on the struggles faced by workers, particularly those in certain industries, as they navigate the delicate balance between professional responsibilities and personal well-being.

The survey, which encompassed responses from various sectors, revealed that over half (56%) of Brits feel they lack a satisfactory work-life balance.

Despite efforts by some major companies to implement a 4-day workweek, a substantial number of employees still find it challenging to reconcile their workload with personal time, leading to adverse effects on mental health.

The findings underscore the broader issue of individuals sacrificing festive celebrations with friends and family to meet job expectations. As the workload intensifies during the holiday season, concerns about work-life balance become even more pronounced.

One striking revelation from the survey is the impact on mental health, with almost six in 10 Brits reporting negative effects. During key periods such as Christmas, 14 percent of respondents noted a worsening of their mental health due to work-related stress.

Which industries will suffer the most?

The survey identified certain industries facing more significant challenges in maintaining work-life balance. Workers in the media industry, in particular, are anticipated to struggle during Christmas, with 58 percent reporting difficulty keeping up with work demands. Other sectors grappling with this issue include recruitment and HR, deemed the worst industries for work-life balance overall, with 15 percent of workers expressing dissatisfaction. Business, consulting, and management closely follow, with 14 percent reporting challenges.

A noteworthy revelation from the survey is that over a third of respondents have left or are considering leaving their jobs due to a lack of work-life balance, ranking it as the second most common reason after poor pay.

Jen Wlodyka, Senior Operations and Culture Manager at Distinctly, offers practical advice for workers grappling with work-life balance issues during the festive season. She emphasises the importance of identifying the problem, communicating concerns with managers, and proposing potential solutions to streamline workloads.

Phil Jeynes, Director of Corporate Strategy at Reassured, comments on the findings, stating:

“Our findings show more needs to be done to support employees with workload, and we encourage people to be more open about their work-life balance with their managers. While a secure income is vital to protecting yourself and your family, wellbeing should always be a priority during your working life.”

As the UK prepares for the festive season, the survey results serve as a timely reminder of the critical need for businesses to address work-life balance concerns and prioritise the well-being of their workforce.

 

 

 

 

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.