Credit: jnn1776/Flickr

You probably have a better work-life balance than Americans

A third of UK managers work more than 40 hours a week, compared to 60% of Americans.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 21 Aug 2015

The US is notorious for hard-grafting workers and slave-driving bosses – all in pursuit of the ever-elusive Dream. So it’s not surprising American managers are likely to put in longer hours than their British counterparts.

Just over a third of UK managers work more than 40 hours a week, compared to almost 60% in the US, according to a survey of 9,699 full-time workers in eight different countries conducted by professional services firm EY. Globally, 46% of managers are going beyond the nine-to-five. Not exactly ‘shock and awe’ statistics, but a reminder us Brits are pretty lucky to live and work in a country where we actually get statutory holiday and paid maternity leave.

Also highlighted in the research was a significant proportion of workers reporting it was more difficult to maintain a work-life balance. A third of those questioned said it had become trickier in the last five years, with the highest proportion in Germany, at 49%.

Credit: EY

Flexible working is definitely part of the answer – 74% said being able to work flexibly while still being on course for promotion was a very important factory in a potential job. The same proportion said working with colleagues, including their boss, who supported flexible working.

Meanwhile, not being able to work flexibly was a top five reason for quitting a job along with ‘minimal’ wage growth, a lack of opportunities to progress, ‘excessive’ overtime and an environment that doesn’t foster teamwork.

So while most of us can definitely gloat about having more reasonable working hours than our cousins across the pond, it looks like employers and employees alike have plenty more to do to deal with the challenges posed by flexible working – and grasp the opportunities it provides.

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