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Stress and poor work-life balance ‘undermining job quality’

Two thirds have experienced a work-related health condition in the last year
work life

Two thirds have experienced a work-related health condition in the last year

Over-work, stress and poor work-life balance are undermining attempts to improve job quality in the UK, research from the CIPD reveals.

The survey of 5,136 people found poor work-life balance was identified as a particular problem, with many people admitting their job caused disruption to family life and made it hard for them to switch off in their downtime. 

Three in five (60%) said they work longer hours than they want and one in four (24%) said they overwork by 10 or more hours a week. 

A quarter (24%) admitted it is difficult to relax in their own time because they are thinking about work and that their job affects their personal commitments (26%).

In addition, the survey found nearly a quarter of people said they often or always feel exhausted in their jobs (22%) or under excessive pressure (22%).

Two in three workers (66%) claimed they have experienced a work-related health condition in the last 12 months, with anxiety and sleep problems being two of the most common issues reported. 

The CIPD is calling on employers to offer a range of flexible working practices to all employees.

The report found three quarters of flexible workers (78%) said that flexible working has a positive impact on their quality of life. 

However, many are missing out with two-thirds of employees (68%) wanting to work flexibly in at least one form that is not currently available to them. 

Peter Cheese, chief executive at the CIPD, warned that work can sometimes be all-encompassing, demand too much of people’s precious personal time and take too much out of them.  

He said employers need to be offering all staff a wide range of flexible working arrangements and actively promote their take-up.

“Not only will this help to improve people’s quality of life, but it will make their performance at work more sustainable over the long-term,” he argued.