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Survey reveals UK ‘work-family balance’ is definitely skewed towards work

According to a survey of 2,000 adults carried out by the Scottish Widows’ think-tank, the Centre for the Modern Family, the average U.K. worker spends three times longer working and commuting than with their family, reports The Telegraph.

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Family time equates to only three and a half hours a day and the majority of parents feel they are missing out on seeing their kids grow up. Over a third of them thought their work-life balance was weighted towards their work and almost half admitted to missing putting their kids to bed or seeing them in the mornings because of their work commitments.

Other things workers are missing out on include eating meals with their family, helping children with schoolwork and attending planned family events or activities.

Those who felt their life balance was skewed towards family said this had a positive impact on their work, making them happier and more focused.

“The concept of ‘work family balance’ is not new,” said Anita Frew, chair of the Centre for the Modern Family. “But the pace of recent technological advancement has created a constant connection between workers and the workplace, as we face a growing expectation to always be switched on — whether in our place of work, at home with our families, or travelling between the two.”

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“U.K. workers are clearly struggling to find a happy equilibrium between work and family life, with working parents feeling the strain most acutely,” Frew went on. “At the same time, it is clear that employers could be doing more to support their workers to juggle the pressures of work and family. It’s time to rethink traditional ways of working and move towards a more agile approach. This will not only help employees forge a better work family balance, but to improve (sic) productivity, returning benefit to employers. We need to show businesses and government that the nation’s ‘work family balance’ has see-sawed too far in the direction of work. Together, a new, relevant approach must be found to help restore our equilibrium.”

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