Men admit they're working too hard
Seventy per cent of men say their work is suffering because they're working too hard.
The modern euphemism, used in the survey conducted by a men's magazine with the Department of Trade and Industry, is 'work-life balance' but what it really means is that working in the country with the longest working hours in Europe is knackering.
In the survey, more than half the men questioned (52%) said their personal relationships were their main priority. Almost a quarter (23%) named their health as the main issue. Despite this they were working longer than they wanted to and didn't have time to exercise.
Many feel this could be damaging their ability to perform in the workplace, as over half (55%) think that having enough time to exercise regularly improves their productivity.
Nearly half of the men surveyed (49%) believe that getting out of the office to exercise regularly helps improve motivation and concentration, with seven in 10 feeling that it boosts their self esteem to give them more confidence in meetings.
Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt told Personnel Today magazine: 'More and more men are making work-life balance a priority. It gives them time to spend with their friends and families, to look after their health and to pursue other interests. All this can also improve their performance at work, which is good news for their employers too.
'But this survey shows it's still hard for men to get the balance right, especially if there's an old-fashioned culture where they work. That's why I'm glad that bosses are leading by example, and that flexible working opportunities are becoming more common.'
How about the government setting an example? Better news for the over-worked is that the desire of the UK government of which Ms Hewitt is an enthusiastic member, to maintain its opt-out from the European Working Time Directive has been challenged. The European Commission has warned that it will consider proposals for ending the UK's opt-out from the 48-hour a week maximum rule.
Figures from 2002 suggest that nearly four million people in the UK are working more than 48 hours a week.
Page created on June 1st, 2004
Page updated on December 1st, 2009