Four out of five employees in the UK say that work-life balance considerations play a crucial role in deciding whether to stay with their current employer or leave, according to research from HR consultancy Watson Wyatt.
Its WorkUK Survey – conducted from a representative sample of 3,000 private sector workers in the UK – found that more than 40% are actively considering finding a new job with a different employer, and nearly 80% believe work-life balance is a very important consideration – if not the key consideration – in deciding to leave for a new job.
Jake Outram, a consultant at Watson Wyatt, said: “A certain level of turnover can always be expected – indeed, it is often perceived as healthy.
"But while it is unlikely that all 40% of the employees considering changing jobs will actually do so, our research demonstrates that many employers may be neglecting a key factor affecting their employees’ attitudes to staying in their positions.
“It is therefore important that employers understand how their employees, and in particular, their high-performers, perceive their work-life balance."
The research also found that the concern with work-life balance is not limited to specific job levels. The response to this issue is almost identical for managers and non-managers.
“Although not a new issue, work-life balance has again been given prominence due to the ongoing debate on the EU working hours’ directive,” said Outram.
“Our research demonstrates the importance that employees place on achieving a sensible work-life balance, and it is evident that employers must focus on measuring the levels of work-life balance within their organisations to enable them to develop strategies that help employees to achieve a greater control over their working lives.
“This in turn will help organisations retain those staff who make the greatest contribution to their business.”