British people work the longest hours in the EU


British people work the longest hours in the EU

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A recent TUC study shows employees in Britain spend 42 hours a week at work. Flexible workspace solutions can reduce this and offer a better work/life balance


According to a recent study the Trades Union Congress (TUC), employees in Britain work more hours each week than their counterparts in any other EU country. The average person in the UK spends more than 42 hours a week at work, a full five hours longer than our Danish cousins who manage to clock up just 37 hours at the company coalface.

But longer hours do not necessarily mean increased production and revenue. The report also showed that employees in countries such as Denmark and Germany are more productive than UK workers, even though they work fewer hours. 

In the last few decades, the working week in the UK has steadily increased and, along with advances in technology, the expectation for employees to be “always on” is starting to take its toll. Regularly working extra hours causes people to feel stressed and overworked, which has a detrimental effect on employees’ health and relationships. According to a report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 57% of all sick days taken in Britain in 2017-2018 were the result of work-related stress, anxiety or depression. 

Our overworked nation has even become a political issue. At this year’s Labour conference in Brighton, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell spoke about the current “live to work” mentality. He pledged that, if elected, Labour will introduce a 10-year plan to reduce the average working week to 32 hours with – most importantly – no drop in pay.

But can the future really mean working less each week? Well, yes. More and more companies across the world are adopting an increasingly flexible approach to the working week. Flexible working has been proven to have numerous benefits, from increased productivity and reduced office costs to helping employees have a better work/life balance. As the trend for flexible working continues, the traditional nine-to-five working week is looking more and more outdated. 

Flexibility in the workplace is proving to be the biggest change in the employment landscape. Research by IWG reported in the annual Global Workspace Survey, which canvasses 15,000 business people across 80 nations, showed that companies offering flexible working is becoming the norm, with more than 62% of businesses worldwide adopting the policy. 

According to the report, 85% of business leaders said that flexible working has made their business more productive, with 67% of those believing it increased production by at least a fifth. Regus has serviced offices in more than 3,000 major cities and towns all around the world and offers everything from coworking desks, meeting rooms and business lounges to thinkpods and virtual offices to fit every business need.

In addition, companies that conduct their business in different locations across the UK, and even abroad, will find their bottom line will benefit from incorporating a flexible workspace solution over a traditional permanent office base. It can also work for companies whose businesses necessitate a lengthy commute, as well as the continuing demand for employees to have a better work/life balance. Address both of these issues and companies will improve employee retention. Whichever way you look at it, flexible working is a win-win situation.


Find out how you can help your employees find a better work/life balance by checking out the nearest Regus offices to you