Employees are increasingly placing more value on work-life balance over pay and benefits, according to a survey by a Lancaster-based business advisory firm.
The online poll, conducted by Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, found that almost two thirds (60 per cent) of employees see a healthier balance between work and personal lives as their top priority.
Only 20 per cent of those surveyed placed the most emphasis on the pay package offered by an employer.
A further fifth of employees place the highest value on being trusted to get on with the job without being ‘micro-managed’.
Adam Parton, partner at Moore and Smalley, said: “This survey suggests that firms that help staff achieve a good balance between their professional and personal commitments are more likely to attract and retain top talent.
“The employer benefits of promoting a balanced lifestyle are wide-ranging, including saving money on recruitment costs.
“It is also proven that happy staff are more productive in the workplace, so it makes good business sense to cater for employee needs.
“The desire for a greater work-life balance is perhaps reflected in the government’s attempts to alter British working cultures, such as extending the right to request flexible working to all workers, not just parents, and changing the rules on shared parental leave.”
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, Britons in full-time employment work an average of 42.7 hours a week, only an hour less than Greeks, who work the longest hours in Europe.
The UK also lacks in comparison to Denmark which was found to have the best work-life balance by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Better Life Index, suggesting UK firms need to do more to satisfy staff in this area.