A message from the Bank Workers Charity - Getting the balance right

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We are living a time of increasing pressure at work, the effects of escalating working hours and work responsibilities are taking its toll in the health and wellbeing of the UK’s working population.

At the Bank Workers Charity, we believe National Work Life Balance Week (22 – 26 September) is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the effects of an unbalanced work-life relation.

We are concerned about the effects that this high pressure working culture is having on the personal life of employees. According to the OECD’s Better Life Index, “People in the United Kingdom work 1,654 hours a year” and “12%of employees work very long hours, more than the OECD average of 9%”. According to several reports the amount of time spent at work is the main driver of poor work life balance. The rise in the UK’s average working hours suggests that this escalating problem will continue to grow.

In 2013, the former chief financial officer of Lehman Brothers Erin Callan wrote a very insightful article for The New York Times about her work-life balance when she worked at the bank. In the article she states that “First I spent a half-hour on Sunday organizing my e-mail, to-do list and calendar to make Monday morning easier. Then I was working a few hours on Sunday, then all day. My boundaries slipped away until work was all that was left.”

Getting the balance between work and life can be challenging and intensive. Work-life balance is about creating and maintaining supportive and healthy work environments, which will enable employees to have balance between work and personal responsibilities and thus strengthen employee loyalty and productivity.

At the Bank Workers Charity we are committed to help employees who are struggling to get their balance right. Please read our guides for flexible working, employee rights at work and employee guide to being a carer or visit our website for more information.

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