Senior staff have worst work-life balance

When compared against a similar report from 2009, work-life balance is now regarded as the most influential factor for staff morale, a leap up from its previous ranking of sixth.

The research, conducted by Morgan Redwood, is based on responses from the Heads of Human Resource departments or Board Director level from over 250 businesses. These have been drawn from across the UK and from a mix of sectors and a range of company sizes, with two thirds employing over 250 people, and none less than 50.

Janice Haddon, MD of Morgan Redwood said: “The findings from this latest report help to demonstrate the importance of a good work-life balance – in the eyes of business leaders at least. When taken against our 2009 findings, it seems that it’s now regarded as much more important than it was previously. What has caused this shift in opinion?”

As part of the study, senior managers were asked to rate their employees’ level of morale out of ten (with ten being excellent), which found the average rating was just 5.2. When asked what factors were most likely to adversely affect morale, a poor work-life balance was seen as number one, according to 33.2 per cent of those questioned.

When asked to rank ‘who has the best work-life balance’ senior managers came out as fourth, with only the board deemed to have a worse balance. The ‘wider workforce’ were deemed to have the best balance, followed by ‘junior managers’ and ‘middle managers’.

Janice said: “Considering we questioned heads of HR and board director level staff, the results are based on their perspective. However it does certainly serve to demonstrate that senior members of staff consider themselves to have a raw deal when it comes to work-life balance. Is this due to the pressures of increased responsibility?”

She added: “A considerable number saw a poor work-life balance adversely affecting morale within the workplace. If senior managers experience a poor work-life balance, this can lead to stress, worry, lower energy and poor concentration, which can then drip feed down to junior management teams, ultimately having a negative impact on the business as a whole.”

Janice concluded: “Stress and lack of morale in a business needs to be treated at source. In order to keep up business performance, senior managers need to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This positive balance can then filter on to the wider workforce. Overworked employees with no time for their personal life will soon face burnout, so employers need to take action to meet the needs of their staff.”