Are your finances hurting your work-life balance?
When it comes to what makes a job satisfying, most people agree that striking a good work-life balance is key.
As we all spend more time working from home, the line between work time and home time is increasingly blurred and satisfaction and enjoyment begin to take a downturn. Unsurprisingly, the British public struggle with that more than most of our European counterparts.
But what does that look like and what can be done about it?
The average Brit is overworked
On average, British people work around 325 more hours every year than people in Germany. That’s about nine extra weeks! That means, if you find yourself working the usual hours of a British person, you’re giving away two months of work to your company - probably for free.
A surprising amount of the population (13% - the most out of any European country) find themselves working upwards of 50 hours per week. These are some of the longest working hours throughout the world. When you consider how long most people spend at their jobs, it’s no wonder that finding a way to balance that against free time has become so important.
These days, the separation between work and home is slimmer than ever and it’s starting to show. According to an article by City A.M., remote workers tend to spend an extra 28 hours a month working. That’s another four extra days!
Productivity is still low
Unfortunately, our long work hours don’t seem to translate into getting things done. According to 2016 data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), French workers managed to achieve the same results in four days as UK workers did in a full work week.
Some suggest that the extra hours that are commonplace all over the UK could be a contributing factor to this. HR experts frequently warn against the dangers of burnout - a concern that grows without a clear definition between work and downtime spaces.
When a person feels burnt out, run down and overworked, they aren’t able to produce the same results that they can with a well-rested mind. This means work-life balance isn’t just good for your home life, but your work as well.
How do finances factor in?
Data from the 2019 Financial Well-being Index shows that 77% of UK employees have financial worries that affect them at work.
The anxiety that these concerns create, whether they are about ensuring your family and future are protected or affording the hobbies you love, often advances the idea that we should be putting in more hours. Surely, by working harder, a person can work themselves out of that stress?
Not so much.
While we can’t honestly knock a good work ethic, keeping up a good work-life balance means knowing when to shut off. And finding other ways of gaining financial freedom is a great way to give yourself that flexibility.
Financial planning, particularly lifestyle financial planning, is vital for this. By creating a plan that alleviates the stresses of financial management, you can free yourself up to enjoy better balance and more time for yourself and your family.
When you know that you have enough, and will have enough, to live well, you may not feel the need to overwork. You can feel more comfortable using your leisure time and this break will impact both your ability to enjoy life outside of work and get more done when you're in the office - even when that office is at home.
Knowing that your finances are handled and knowing what you need to live your best life are the keys to success. Lifestyle financial planning isn’t just about risk assessments, cashflow, or investment products, it’s about building your life well.