Balance is better for business

When is UK business going to learn that ‘sweating your assets’ is not a practise that should be applied to staff, and remember that work-life balance isn’t a luxury but a necessity?

A recent article in People Management tells us that a third of workers have experienced a deterioration in work-life balance with more time being spent at work than before the recession – and suggests that on average staff are putting in 30 days a year of unpaid overtime. 

Research by Tony Schwartz and colleagues show that overwork inevitably takes its toll physically, mentally and emotionally, so it’s no surprise then to read an article in Personnel Today reporting on the consequences of excessive working hours and heavy workloads – i.e. an increase in staff absence in a third of UK businesses in the past 12 months.  A further consequence, as Dr Alexandra Beauregard cautions in the article, is that those who feel overworked and undervalued will leave at the first opportunity. 

Perhaps it would be a timely reminder to note that in contrast to a ‘long hours’ culture, work-life balance is better for business:

  1. people actually get more done in less time at a higher level of engagement and with more sustainability when they manage their energy levels and build in time for recovery;
  2. flexible working practises encourage employee loyalty;
  3. a healthy workplace is better for productivity, recruitment and staff retention; and
  4. those organisations that make wellness and engagement a strategic issue have the competitive advantage.

So if you want to support your workforce rather than ‘sweat your assets’, maximise the value of your people yet not wear them out, contact gill@unisonmedia.co.uk




Macleod D., & Brady C.  (2008). The extra mile: how to engage your people to win. Pearson Education.  Harlow, G.B.




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