Work-life balance in the digital era

20th December 2018

Balancing work and life are important for all employees but it is a difficult task for many. If not balanced correctly it could lead to employees becoming dissatisfied, unmotivated in their role and other negative impacts on life can occur such as lack of exercise, increased stress levels,  little social lives, psychological and physical health problems. A survey from Managers.org.uk focuses on the working hours of managers goes into detail about “Managers’ working hours in a digital era”.

According to the survey, managers are working extra hours and this trend has continued to rise since 2012.

 

“Managers’ contracted working hours have risen by one hour daily compared to 2012, which is equivalent to an additional 29 days extra each year. That’s more than the typical annual leave entitlement. Overall, 92% of managers work longer than their contracted hours. This pattern has resulted in a third of managers feeling ‘overloaded’ and a perception that long working hours are something they have ‘no choice’ about.”

 

A majority of managers are working between 41 to 48 hours (38%) with 23% of managers working beyond that, between 49 to 59 hours.

Depending on the seniority of the manager, the extra hours worked changes. Junior managers will tend to work an extra 30 minutes over contracted hours while Directors and above will work an extra 2 hours over contracted hours.

Despite the extra hours worked, under half (42%) of the managers surveyed do not feel overburdened with their workload. However, a third (33%) of managers feel that they are overloaded with work.

What is surprising is that while 63% feel that they have no choice to work the extra hours to meet deadlines, 54% work the extra hours by choice.

Being in a digital era and technology working alongside us in our daily work tasks, we were led to believe that work would be more efficient and our work lives would be made easier. However, technology has enabled an ‘always connected’ environment when away from our place of work and has also influenced the working hours.

Staying connected has also affected managers ability to maintain their work-life balance as being constantly connected makes it difficult for them to ‘switch off’ and leave work at work.

 

“61% of managers say that technology has made it difficult to switch off from work. Around one in five managers say they now check their email all the time outside of working hours; over half (54%) check frequently. This is particularly common among those in senior management positions.  Whilst not perceived unfavourably by all managers, constant email accessibility and digital connectivity mean longer working hours for some.”

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Though technology is not the root of increase work hours, the ability to access work life while at home is a contributor.

The survey does not specify the industries that the managers are working within but IT managers and those working within the IT industry have to ability to work remotely. Employees within the IT sector have the power to access a multitude of areas without having to physically be in a specific location and this also opens the doors to working extra hours a to rectify problems or to meet deadlines.

 

Source: Managers.org.uk

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