Work-life balance on the up

UK employees are happier with their work-life balance in 2012

Work life balance on the up

Employees across the UK believe the balance between their work and personal life has improved since 2010, according to a Work-Life Balance Index, published by workspace provider Regus.

Despite the average worker putting in longer hours than ever before, the Index shows 60% of people are enjoying their jobs more, and 58% feel that they have enough time to spend at home or on personal pursuits.

The majority of workers (69%) state that they achieve more at work than in 2010, which points to a connection between a good work-life balance and worker productivity. Over a third (36%) of respondents say that employers have made efforts to shorten staff commute times, acknowledging the strain a lengthy journey to and from work can have.

The Index registered a 20% rise in UK work-life balance between 2010 and 2012. To put this into perspective, the UK Index standing is 104, which remains significantly below the global average of 124.

Happy and productive

Clare Kelliher, Professor of work and organisation at the Cranfield School of Management, said: "We know that a good work-life balance is essential for employees to live healthy, happy and productive lives. The results from this report lend weight to the idea that happier staff are also more productive. At a time when all businesses are striving for growth, this serves as a reminder that employers should review their policies and practices to ensure that staff have the flexibility to achieve balance in their lives."

Steve Purdy, UK MD at Regus added: "The launch of our new Work-Life balance Index brings the encouraging news that our work-life harmony is improving and confirms ONS results that UK workers are satisfied with their work life."

Adding "The survey also importantly indicates that happier employees are more productive, with a convincing majority of respondents declaring that they are achieving more than in 2010."

What the research doesn't mention is that the last two years have also seen an increase in the use of smartphones, tablets and cloud services and these have had an undoubted benefit on work-life balance. To read more see our guide to Fixing your work-life balance