Does a perfect work-life balance exist? For many employees, the pandemic blurred the line between home and work, forcing companies to prioritise the mental health of their teams. But despite the increased focus on wellbeing in the workplace, new research by Glassdoor has found that discussions around 'burnout' and 'overwork' continue to rise amongst workers.
Analysing more than 400,000 reviews from employees across 2022, the Glassdoor Economic Research team discovered:
- Burnout is still a big issue, with discussion in Glassdoor reviews on the topic soaring 86% since 2019.
- Mentions of mental health climbed 21% and overwork 15% in the same period.
- Employees rank tech as the best industry for work-life balance while the retail and hospitality sectors fall short.
Can Flexibility Help Work-Life Balance?
When it comes to job satisfaction work-life balance is more important to employees than pay. In fact, 1 in 2 (52%) consider work-life balance a priority when job hunting. But what's the best way to achieve a good mix between personal and professional lives?
A study* by Glassdoor found that flexible working could be the answer. Six in 10 people with flexible working patterns report feeling happier and improved work-life balance. A reason for this could be that flexible workers also said they feel better able to attend to personal responsibilities, such as caring for children or life-admin (59%), and have more autonomy over their work (70%). More than half surveyed (53%) also say flexible working has helped with the rising cost of living.
20 Highest Ranking UK Companies for Work-Life Balance in 2022
Using the anonymous feedback and ratings left by workers on their employer’s approach to work-life balance, Glassdoor economists compiled a list of the UK top companies for work-life balance in 2022. According to employees those companies are:
|Rank||Company Name||Work-Life Balance Rating (out of 5)||Industry|
|1||Office for National Statistics||4.60||Government|
|7||Bank of England||4.44||Finance|
|9||MBDA||4.38||Aerospace & Defence|
|11||Which?||4.35||Media & Communications|
|16||Leonardo||4.31||Aerospace & Defence|
|19||Domestic & General Group||4.27||Insurance|
All the companies on the list are highly rated for work-life balance due to employee feedback and specific measures the organisation has put into place to combat burnout and allow for a better work life balance.
The Industries Getting The Balance Right, and Wrong
Analysis of ratings by industry found that employees ranked tech as the best sector for work-life balance, with a rating of 4.0 out of 5. Followed by companies in Aerospace & Defence (3.9), Media and Communication (3.9) and Legal (3.8).
At the other end of the scale, Glassdoor research found the hospitality (3.1 out of 5), retail (3.3) and transportation & logistics (3.3) sectors have the lowest work-life ratings. These industries were all hit hard by the pandemic and have been less able to adapt to remote working for employees.
Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance
As we’ve seen, there’s no single answer to achieving harmony between your professional and personal lives. So why not try a combination of the below:
- Be transparent with your team about burnout and mental health. Leaders can empower employees to feel comfortable speaking up when they’re struggling and should lead by example.
- Set boundaries. Plan a firm “end time” on your calendar each day. Scheduling wellbeing activities like dinner with your kids, exercise or meditation can help hold you accountable.
- Plan a holiday, or a staycation, and remember to utilise your holiday allocation.
“The stigma around discussing mental health in the workplace is lessening, and there is increased awareness of how our mental state can affect our productivity at work and our overall happiness. The Glassdoor list showcases amazing examples of companies which have implemented multiple initiatives to help protect their employees’ wellbeing. This includes offering flexible working which allows employees to balance their home and work lives in a way that works for them." comments Glassdoor's career trends expert, Jill Cotton.
“However, there is still a way to go - UK workers remain overworked and burnout is on the rise. Employers need to create a transparent culture and provide a range of support to protect employees’ wellbeing. Workers who are struggling with their mental health or work-life balance should feel comfortable to be open with their team or line manager, and ask for support and help in setting boundaries.”
The list of highest ranking companies was compiled by analysing hundreds of thousands of reviews left by full-time U.K. based employees between 1 January 2022 and 28 September 2022. All companies on the list had at least 50 work-life balance reviews during their period. Balance rating extended beyond the first decimal point for the purposes of ranking.
*This research, undertaken by OnePoll on behalf of Glassdoor, surveyed 2,000 UK employees who work full time either in an office or at home between 22 August - 30 August 2022.