New data from the Hay Group has revealed that large numbers of employees believe they do not have an acceptable work-life balance and many are considering changing jobs because of it.

Analysing its global database of employee surveys to discover how they feel about their work-life balance and the level of support they received at work, Hay’s researchers uncovered some disturbing trends: over two thirds of employees (39 per cent) believe they have a poor balance between their personal and work lives.

Worryingly for employers, 27 per cent of respondents who feel that their employing organisations do not support their aspirations for an improved work-life balance plan to leave over the next two years. Amongst employees who perceive their organisations as supportive of an improved work-life balance, the corresponding figure was only 17 per cent.

The study comes in the wake of research from the Institute of Leadership and Management, which found that 94 per cent of managers work appreciably longer than the number of hours stated on their contracts. Mobile technology has meant that all employees can almost always be contacted, extending the reach of work in the personal sphere.

Commenting on Hay’s findings, John Ashton, president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, called upon UK businesses to introduce a four-day week as a new norm, a measure which he argues will ease the stress of over-worked employees and will share employment opportunities with those not in work.

Another alternative being adopted by rising numbers of skilled individuals is to begin a professional contracting career. One thing that Umbrella Company employees rarely complain about is their work-life balance.

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