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The Lie of Overwork and How it’s Harming Us
February 11, 2020

Bruce Daisley, a former Google, Facebook and Twitter executive, says he’s seen the damage of overwork, which often takes years or decades to manifest itself in poor health.

Often it’s the lie we tell ourselves — that the success of this organization is down to the immense hours that we’re working — and we neglect the harm that it’s doing to us,” he argues. 

Full Story: Chief Executive online

Workers Holding Multiple Temporary Roles
December 18, 2019

​More than one in 10 (12%) workers in the UK have multiple jobs and consider temporary work as their main role, according to research from Reed

The research, carried out as part of Reed’s ‘Temporary isn’t Temporary’ campaign, surveyed 5,000 workers and looked at their experiences of temporary and multiple-career roles.

When asked about the positive benefits of temporary or short-term contracts, more than a third (37%) cited work/life balance as the key reason they have followed this career structure. 

Access to a variety of work was the next-favoured reason at 34%, while 28% cited that a flexible and varied approach to gaining work experience would help boost their CV. Twenty-two per cent said seeing their family was a major benefit of temporary working. 

However, the research also found a variety of reasons some people are being deterred from temporary work. More than half (53%) of workers said they prefer the security of a permanent role, and 46% said the benefits of a permanent role (such as pensions and sick pay) are important in their preference for longer-term roles. 

Despite income and financial security being of great concern, two-thirds (66%) of workers indicated that they were not worried about the disadvantages of non-permanent work when applying for mortgages or loans. And more than three-quarters (77%) said they weren’t concerned about having to work whenever possible. 

The research also highlighted discrepancies in the views held by different demographics. 

Across the UK, multiple temporary contract roles seem to be favoured by men, with 21% viewing the increased hourly rate as an advantage compared to 17% of women. 

Temporary work appears to be favoured by the next generation and those at the beginning of their careers with 17% of 25- to 34-year-olds considering temporary employment to be their main role. More than a fifth (21%) of 25- to 34-year-olds hold more than one temporary role and 11% hold more than four temporary roles at one time. 

Claire Harvey, managing director of Reed UK & Ireland, said the research reveals that financial concerns can dissuade people from wanting to take up temporary work. 

“Having surveyed workers across the UK we know they want the flexibility of temporary work but are held back by financial concerns,” she said.

“When this barrier is removed there is little stopping workers from chasing their flexible working dream. And the good news is that a market with a healthy amount of temporary work can benefit both employers and employees.” 

Harvey added that employers can benefit from making sure temporary workers are given high-quality and varied work. 

“If employers can deliver the variety and quality of work at the same time as keeping the important flexibility in a role that candidate’s desire then they will capture the best temporary workers,” she said. 

“When they may not be able to employ a highly-skilled specialist on a permanent basis a client can benefit from their wisdom through a short-term contract. 

“With the progression of technology in the workplace it’s clear that the traditional nine to five is disappearing and, as a result, temporary or contract working is likely to become more and more common.”

Number of Workers Clocking up 48hr Weeks Increased By 500%
July 5, 2019

Figures by the TUC revealed that, since 2001, the number of employees working 48-hour weeks has risen by a quarter of a million to three million, while half a million British workers suffered from work-related stress in 2018, and 44% said it was due to workload.

With the World Health Organisation defining ‘burnout’ as “a syndrome” resulting from prolonged workplace stress, which has been poorly managed, research collected by Forest Holidays shows why burnout has become a regular occurrence, and the impact this work-related syndrome has on the families.

Combatting Burnout

In 2017, it was reported that 1 in 10 adults had difficulty unwinding in the evenings and on weekends. However, most people don’t realise they are really burnt out until it’s too late, then needing to deal with eliminating the symptoms while also having to combat the stresses that triggered it in the first place. 

Key Factors Leading to Burnout

  • High workload
  • Unclear job expectations
  • Conflicts at work
  • Lack of managerial support
  • Work/life imbalance
  • Stressful working environmental
The Impact of Work on Modern Families

Over three-quarters of parents (78%) admit to putting in extra hours to try and get ahead of their work, with almost 50% stating the most significant impact of this overspill is the ability to increase family quality time, followed closely by a negative effect on their relationship with their partner.

Create A Better Work-Life Balance and Prioritise Quality Time with Loved Ones

Improved mental health, physical wellbeing, creativity and job satisfaction are just a few of the benefits that come from a healthy work-life balance.

However, with the use of technology continuing to rise, research shows that families are spending more time ‘alone-together’ – meaning they’re in the same house but separately.

Studies on the topic have revealed, overall, ‘alone-together’ time has risen by 43%, demonstrating families are often engaging with devices instead of each other.

Regaining the Balance

Further research shows that nearly two-thirds of British families spent fewer days out together in recent years compared to 20 years ago, even though having close relationships being proven to help reduce stress.

Initiate A Digital Detox

Data shows that around 7 in 10 people recognise the benefits of lowering their screen time, and 8 in 10 find having a digital detox liberating, despite having FOMO (the fear of missing out). Setting technology-free days, or phones/emails during certain times, can help to quickly achieve a relaxed period allowing you to focus on loved ones.

Work Remotely

There has been a huge shift in the modern workplace as employers become more accepting of flexible and remote working options. In fact, research by Instant Offices shows 71% of the flexible user becoming more engaged at work, while Around 40% of employees believe work distraction could also be drastically reduced with flexible and remote working options.

Spend More Time Outdoors

Spending time outdoors can have a positive effect in a variety of ways including:

  • Boost moods and fight anxiety – Research shows that being in nature for just 20 minutes will lower stress hormones, such as cortisol levels.
  • Better mental health – Walking has been proven effective in reducing anxiety and depression, and further evidence suggests walking in nature improve this further because different parts of our brains activate in nature.
  • Eliminate fatigue – Studies indicate that people’s mental energy bounces back just by looking at images of nature, while pictures of cities did not effect.
  • Getting vitamin D – An essential vitamin for a well-functioning body, helping to absorb calcium, preventing osteoporosis and reducing inflammation among other things. More than 90% of our vitamin D comes from casual exposure to sunlight.