Majority of UK employees work during time off: how can school leavers entering the job market avoid this?

Whether it’s replying to work emails or making calls during free time, an alarmingly high number of UK workers are ‘always on’. But there are measures that young people about to enter the job market can take to ensure they don’t fall into the same trap as their older colleagues.

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A staggering 72.4% of UK workers say they reply to work-related emails, or making work-related calls in their free time. What’s more, one in three (34.8%) admit that they check their phone for work purposes immediately before they go to sleep, and as soon as they wake up.

A survey by CV-Library of 1,200 UK workers explored the impact of today’s ‘always on’ culture, revealing that 78.3% believe that this is having a negative effect on professionals.

Respondents were also asked to share how working outside of their contracted hours has affected their life. The top problems to emerge include:

  1. Poor quality of sleep – 52.8%
  2. Increased stress levels – 51.9%
  3. Feeling exhausted – 50.6%
  4. Spending less time with family – 47.6%
  5. Unable to do enjoyable hobbies – 38.8%

Over one third (34.9%) have access to shared drives and workspaces, with 62.1% saying that they access these outside of working hours.

This has led 71.9% to agree that mobile devices are blurring the lines between our personal and our work lives.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said: “It’s concerning to learn that such a large percentage of UK professionals are continuing to work outside of their contracted hours. While technology has opened us up to a world of opportunities, it also makes it all too easy to access emails and shared drives from home.

If you’re guilty of putting in the extra hours, it could be time to take a step back and reflect on how this is impacting your life, so you can begin to make some positive changes.”

With 65.1% confessing that they think about work outside of office hours, it’s unsurprising that over one in four (29.5%) professionals don’t consider themselves to have a good work-life balance. In fact, 44.4% revealed that they have left a job in the past due to poor work-life balance.

72.4% of UK workers say they reply to work-related emails, or making work-related calls in their free time. What’s more, one in three (34.8%) admit that they check their phone for work purposes immediately before they go to sleep, and as soon as they wake up.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. School leavers about to enter the job market can take to ensure they don’t fall into the same trap as their older colleagues. CV-Library has put together its top tips for achieving a strong work-life balance:

1. Avoid the tech - Disable your work emails from your phone or tablet, and avoid logging in to shared work areas during your free time. You can’t be expected to be online 24/7.

2. Manage your time - Make better use of your time when you’re in the office and ensure you’re keeping on top of your workload. This will stop you worrying about work when you leave.

3. Set yourself up for the next day - At the end of each day, write yourself a to-do list for when you return. This can help you to switch off knowing that no tasks will fall under the radar. 

4. Ask for help - Sometimes work gets busy. So if you’re struggling, you need to speak to your manager or delegate to your team. You can’t be expected to pick up all the slack.

5. Don’t be afraid to say no - Remember, you are only one person! Don’t be afraid to say no sometimes, particularly if you’re frequently being asked to put in extra hours in the evening or over the weekends.

 

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