Few working parents feel they’ve got the balance right with 40% feeling constantly torn between the two – despite the fact that parents have the right to request flexible working arrangements that could help, according to a poll to mark National Work-Life Week which starts on 24 September.
A survey of just under 1,000 parents by Working Families found that a major problem for parents is working long hours – whether people are part-time, full-time, regular 9-5 or shift workers, staying late is commonplace, with over half citing workload pressures.
Some 43% saying they feel more stressed by work than they did three years ago, and three quarters report that this impacts on their relationships with their children – rising to 80% reporting that relationships with their partners are suffering.
The new survey shows that apart from giving up work altogether, the main things parents would like to do to improve their work-life balance are to work fewer hours, work from home some of the time, have flexible working options and have less of a long-hours culture at work.
Sarah Jackson, CEO of Working Families, says: “This is our first annual survey of parents to find out how work is affecting home life, and it’s clear that the daily struggle to balance work and life is still a reality for most. What’s infuriating is that simple adjustments to working practices could make a real difference, but there’s an unhelpful perception that flexible working is just for mothers. Fathers and other employees who also need a better work-life balance are losing out, and parents themselves can feel inhibited about putting in a request where the culture is unwelcoming.
"Businesses do so much better when their people are properly engaged, so this National Work-Life Week we’re urging the Government to extend the statutory right to request flexible working to all employees – as our Top Thirty Employers for Working Families already do with great success. The best employers recognise that flexible working for all is a win for their businesses as well as a win for employees and their families.”