Modern Brits work 783 hours a year LESS than their parents did at the same age

A nationwide study of young British employees has revealed flexible hours, remote working and a rise in self-employment, means the “clock in and clock out” culture of working Britain is becoming a thing of the past.

In fact, the average 18 – 35 year old works a five hour day, on average – that’s three hours a day less than the traditional nine to five, with as many as two thirds (63 percent) of those polled saying they are no longer chained to their desks, as their parents were at the same age.

But despite the new-found freedom of working life, as many as 86 percent still feel stressed, with more than one in ten (14 percent) of young people having had time off work because of pressures, while 12 percent have seen their GP about stress or anxiety.

Even though 31 percent said they don’t have a boss who breathes down their neck, more than a quarter (28 percent) of workers feel anxious about work and 21 percent have struggled to sleep because of it.

In contrast, three quarters (74 percent) think their parents took work in their stride, with 20 percent admitting that their mother and father are simply more robust than they are.

The research which talked to 2,000 18–35 year olds, revealed young people believe their parents had a very different working life, with 30 percent saying they worked all the hours under the sun and 29 percent adding that they had fewer opportunities to choose their hours.

A fifth said their parents had to physically clock in and out of work back in the day, while 15 percent said they regularly felt the pressure to be in the office and 14 percent said they never seemed to be at home.

Despite this, the same number said their parents wouldn’t know what the phrase “work stress” meant as they were expected to just muddle through.

Yet, more than a quarter (28 percent) of current workers said they manage to take all their annual leave without feeling guilty, 28 percent work flexible hours and a fifth (19 percent) can pick up their children without worrying.

The report found a massive 86 percent think they have more freedom than their parents did, 85 percent said they felt their working hours are more flexible and a quarter thought their mum and dad worked longer hours when they were the same age*.

Nine out of 10 respondents felt there is more pressure on young people to have the perfect career, relationship or life than there used to be, while 87 percent said this pressure to live the perfect life comes from social media.

Some 15 percent of modern workers have a side “hustle job” or multiple revenue streams with 28 percent of Brits selling items online to top up their income. Eight percent blog, seven percent are photographers, six percent are writers and five percent do stand up, play in a band, or are fitness trainers.

Yet, 19 percent said they don’t feel they have a good work life balance and more than a third (36 percent) said not having enough time for friends, family or fitness is the most stressful thing about modern life. A quarter of those polled (25 percent) said they simply don’t have time to exercise, while 22 percent feel guilty about not being around enough for their children.

Part of the problem is the constant nature of modern technology, with two thirds (65 percent) saying they struggle to turn off their phone or laptop when not in the office.

Jamie Ward, CEO of Hussle who led the study, said,

It’s interesting to see how many young Brits feel completely stressed out by the complexity and multi-tasking nature of today’s world.

As the study has discovered we might not be working as many hours as our parents’ generation but we’re certainly feeling the pressure.

*Report published by Hussle

Interested in employee wellbeing and the future of work? We recommend the Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum 2019 and Future of Work Summit 2019.





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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