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sun-online-27-02-19

SUN ONLINE, FEBRUARY 27, 2019
COVERAGE FOR ZOPA

FLEXIT FROM WORK: Third of British workers would happily take a pay cut to work fewer hours

  • The national study found that 89 percent of British employees would jump at the chance of working fewer hours

A third of Brits would happily take a pay cut to work fewer hours, according to new research.

The national study found that 89 percent of British employees would jump at the chance of working fewer hours, as long as it didn’t harm their career prospects.

Workers are prepared to sacrifice 7 percent of their annual income to work one day less a week.

And of those who receive an annual bonus, 48 percent said they would be willing to give it up for more time off.

More than half (58 percent) of the nation’s workers claim their work-life balance is suffering, and 44 percent think the right ratio of work to personal time is vital for their mental health and wellbeing.

The study, by the FeelGood Money Company Zopa, also found that the average British worker feels undervalued, with two thirds (65 percent) believing they work too many hours for the money they are paid.

Almost a quarter (24 percent) of Brits said they are loyal to their work, but their work isn’t loyal to them, while 73 percent believe they will regret working so much when they look back on their life.

More than half (53 percent) of those surveyed thinks new technology has meant they can’t get away from work and are constantly expected to be contactable, yet a quarter appreciate that the same tech has allowed them to work more flexibly.

Some 42 percent said bosses expect more these days, while 57 percent believe past generations had easier working lives. And a fifth (21 percent) hope that their children will have a better work/life balance when they grow up than they do.

The study – of 1500 Brits in employment – also explored what people value most in a career. A good salary with chances to earn more money is the most important thing about a job according to 39 percent of people. A close 37 percent think the ideal job should give you a good work life balance.

Flexibility with hours is important for 31 percent and a further 27 percent say it’s vital to have enough time for holidays.

Close to a third (29 percent) want to remain challenged as the job progresses, 26 percent to be able to keep learning, and 27 percent to have enough time for holidays.

Clare Gambardella, Chief Customer Officer, at Zopa, said: “Flexible working is a growing trend, and it’s not surprising to see that there are many people out there who would be interested in taking a cut in their pay packet to get some extra time. It’s all about finding the right balance that works for you, and making sure that whether you are at work or at home, you can feel good about your situation.”

Some 18 percent thought they would feel more fulfilled if they could choose the amount of work they do, more than one in ten (12 percent) claim their job stops them from seeing family and friends, and six percent even admitted that their children have begged them to stop working so much.

If they did have more time off, 52 percent of people said they would relax and unwind, while 49 percent added that they would see more of their family and friends. Some 46 percent want to have more holidays, 38 percent said they would exercise more and 30 percent would learn a new skill.