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Work/life balance in the UK

clip_image002[11]The British are becoming more and more aware of the issue of a work-life balance, especially with the current nature of the economy and business environments forcing many employees to work longer hours. However, the UK is taking the lead from larger international corporations where policies have been introduced to reduce the pressure of work on private life. This current thinking aims to improve work-life balance for all parties: the company, the individual and the customer.

People in the United Kingdom on average work 1,654 hours a year

Whilst the working week is officially set at 48 hours, the UK has opted out of the European Working Time Directive which means that employees may work more hours if they provide written consent. As such, UK employees are working longer hours with an increased intensity of work. Many employees suggest that they are now working as hard as they can and unable to work any harder. These factors contribute to work/life balance awareness and the important issue of how work demands are regularly affecting family commitments.

Workers in the UK currently work the longest hours in Europe, take the shortest lunch breaks and enjoy the fewest public holidays

Unless employees can manage the demands of work, family, home and leisure then they are more susceptible to illness and stress and unable to perform to their full potential.

Employers are now recognising the importance of a fit and healthy workforce by providing incentives such as free fruit, discount gym membership or organising lunchtime activities. Eating lunch at your desk is one of the most common sights in a modern office environment, but it’s a proven fact that getting out of the office at lunchtime helps to refresh employees and maintain concentration throughout the day. As such, more and more companies are offering activities such as yoga, running clubs or team competitions.

Getting the balance right is tricky, sure, but talking your work hours through with your boss is a positive step. Making the smallest changes can make a big difference to you and your family’s lives. Try to come home relaxed - people pick up on moods so take 10 minutes to wind down, leave work at the door and enjoy your family time together.

Related articles:

· Managing your work/life balance

· Secrets to maximising family time

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