Working Britons resolve to get a life

Jan 15 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Forget clichéd New Year’s resolutions of beating the bulge or breaking a habit. Two thirds of Britons would rather have better work-life balance than a pay rise in 2005, according to new research.

A survey from Lloyds TSB and Working Families marking the launch of the annual search for Britain’s Best Boss has found that that the desire to get a better work-life balance wins out convincingly over more cash or climbing the ladder.

While two-thirds (67 per cent) per cent wanted to strike a better balance between work and home life in 2005, only one fifth (22 per cent) were gunning for a pay review or a promotion (19 per cent).

The older generation are particularly keen to balance their lives, the survey found, with more than four out of ten 45 – 54 year olds resolving to achieve a better work-life balance.

But despite Brits’ desire to ‘get a life’ outside work, over half of those questioned (54 per cent) do not feel they can approach their boss to discuss the possibility of working flexibly.

Men feel less comfortable talking to their boss about changing their working pattern than women, with six out of ten men admitting they would find it difficult to broach the subject compared with half of women.

However, on a positive note, companies do seem to be adopting work-life balance practices. Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) say that their boss gives them the option of working flexible hours, allowing them to have more choice and control over their working lives.

Similarly, half of those questioned said their employer is flexible if family or personal emergencies crop up.

Fiona Cannon of Lloyds TSB, said: “It is refreshing that, as far as career resolutions go, our number one priority is to balance work and play.

"But it’s rather telling that people don’t feel they can discuss it with their boss. Perhaps one of our career resolutions should be to develop a better relationship with the boss so that we can discuss our true career needs."

The annual Lloyds TSB and Working Families Best Boss award celebrates individuals who are great bosses and who encourage and practice work-life balance. If your boss is a great role model for work-life balance, nominate them before 3 May 2005, and they could be crowned Best Boss 2005.