Work life balance rates low on well-being survey

Most people are fairly happy with their life, but work, finances and not having a good balance between work and other aspects of their lives rated lowest in a satisfaction survey published by the Office for National Statistics.

The survey found around three quarters of adults in Great Britain rated their own life satisfaction with a score of 7 or more out of 10. Similar proportions also rated the things that they do in life as worthwhile and their happiness over the previous day at 7 or more out of 10.

However, satisfaction with ‘financial situation’ (6.2 out of 10) had the lowest mean score, followed by ‘work situation’ (6.7 out of 10) and also ‘with time to do the things you like doing’ (6.8 out of 10). When asked specifically about satisfaction with the balance between ‘time spent on paid work and on other aspects of life’, even lower scores were given, with an average of 6.4 out of 10. However, people were most satisfied on average with their ‘personal relationships’ and ‘mental well-being’ which had the highest mean scores (both at 8.3 out of 10).

In terms of how anxious people felt, over half those asked rated their levels at below 4 out of 10 with a quarter reporting zero, i.e. ‘not at all’ anxious during the previous day.

The report brings together initial experimental results looking at individuals’ assessment of their own well-being. Four key questions to help assess people’s own individual well-being were placed on ONS household surveys from April 2011 as part of the development to supplement traditional measures of economic progress to better understand and monitor the nation’s well-being.

The survey was taken in April and June this year before recent concerns about a double dip recession. The survey showed unemployed respondents gave lower average ratings for life satisfaction, 6.3, ‘how worthwhile are the things you do in your life?’ and anxiety.

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