Published: 26th January 2018
A new study has revealed that working parents in the UK are suffering from the strain that work requirements are placing upon their family, with many looking to downscale their careers in order to protect their family life and marriage. Working Families and Bright Horizons, a charity which describes itself as a‘work-life balance organisation’, recently released the report suggesting that work can place such unbearable pressure on relationships that it can lead to separation.
Work Life Causing Damage to Family Life
The study, called the 2018 Modern Families Index, involved a total of 2,750 respondents from working families across the UK, all of which had at least one child aged 13 or under. The Index highlighted that a third of parents believe that their work-life ratio has some form of negative impact on their relationship with their partner, and 25% of parents also stated that work had also caused arguments with their children. In addition, 5% of parents surveyed claimed that managing their work-life balance is a continual source of stress.
Approximately 20% of families believe that they have struck a healthy balance between the amount of time spent with their family and the money that they earn through work, whilst a third of families believe that they don’t have enough time or money. Almost 75% of parents continue to work at home at weekends and in the evenings to cope with the demands of their job, with 20% of parents putting a total of an extra five weeks into their work per year, highlighting just why families may struggle to find a good balance.
Can Families Reduce the Strain Placed upon their Family Life?
As expected, families throughout the UK look for ways to reduce the strain that is placed upon their family because of their working life, with many families suggesting that a more flexible work culture would offer them a much better balance between work and family. However, a large proportion of those involved in the study feel that they may not be able to achieve the desired flexible arrangements, due to their type of job or refusal from employers or managers.
The 2018 Modern Families Index found that almost 50% of parents are uncomfortable with the prospect of talking to their employer about their workload and the hours that they work, suggesting that they might struggle to find the healthy balance wanted by many.
It was also found that fathers may not be as comfortable as mothers when looking to secure more flexible working arrangements, as well as being more likely to lie about family responsibilities to their employer. When compared to mothers, more than twice as many fathers believe that seeking flexible working arrangements could have a negative impact on their career, and that they may be viewed as less committed to the job if they were to seek a more flexible arrangement.
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