Is working overtime part and parcel of the new normal?

UK workers demand better work-life balance from employers as 43% say they regularly work overtime

New research shows almost half of UK employees demand flexibility (47%) and commitment to providing a work-life (41%) balance from their employers, as the lines between the nation’s private and professional lives are blurring more so than ever before.

Remarkably, over 40% (43%) of UK employees regularly work overtime, according to data* with Protime, a provider of workforce management technology. Findings show that employees are looking for freedom to organise their lives and work the best way that they see fit, and for clear cut off points between working hours and personal time.

This is seemingly felt across Europe as 4 out of 10 employees check work-related emails or answer work-related phone calls out of hours. 34% admitted to continuing to do so after the work day ends, and 35% said they had difficulty letting go of work commitments when on leave (35%).

Compared to European counterparts, UK workers feel the most pressure to be constantly contactable via digital devices, with nearly two-thirds (64%) saying so, compared to Finland (52%), Germany (49%), Spain (49%), Italy (48%), Sweden (48%) and Norway (47%).

“Employee wellbeing must be a priority for every employer, and that means encouraging teams to truly switch off outside of working hours wherever possible, and especially on annual leave. It’s vital to achieve a happy and healthy workforce,” explained Laura Miller, HR Business Partner at SD Worx.

“Flexible and hybrid work models are increasingly helping put people in control of their work-life balance, but employees can be left facing performance pressures and anxieties leaving them feeling the need to constantly be online and contactable. That’s why it’s vital organisations build a culture where teams are trusted, wellbeing isn’t just a buzzword, and employees understand the benefits of resting, relaxing and re-energising if companies want to limit churn and prevent employee burn out.”

*SD Worx

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