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European firms do not value their staff’s work / life balance, employees claim

12-March-2018 -

New research from Targus reveals UK workers still denied flexible working opportunities Posted in News archive on 12 Mar 2018 Just one in four European firms ‘actively encourage’ flexible working, and provide staff with the technology to do so More than one in four (28%) Europeans do not feel the organisation they work for values their work / life balance, according to new research from global IT accessories leader, Targus . The poll - which quizzed workers in seven countries across Europe - was conducted by OnePoll and revealed significant work / life balance challenges for employers across the continent. Just 12 per cent of UK employees reported that flexible working is encouraged by their organisation, as well as being provided with smart devices - such as smart phones, tablets and laptops - to work anywhere. In contrast, Spanish organisations appear to be leading the flexible working charge, with nearly one in three (28%) reporting such ‘active encouragement’ from their employers. Despite changing legislation being implemented across many countries, around a third (31%) of European workers state their organisation still does not permit flexible working, with one in five (18%) claiming it is permitted, but not encouraged. In the UK, a third (32%) of workers said they do not have permission to work flexibly at all, with 20 per cent of people admitting it is allowed ‘but not encouraged’. There also appear to be inconsistencies regarding the facilities provided when working on site. Two in five (40%) workers claimed their organisation doesn’t provide a comfortable and user-friendly workspace – featuring tech such as standing desks, tailored seating and adjustable screens, for example. “The working world is changing. Today, employees across all sectors expect a more flexible and fulfilling working experience – with the onus no longer placed on Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm working model,” Lisa O’Keeffe, head of engagement, Targus, said. “Yet workplaces don’t seem to be set up for this change, with cultures seemingly not built for the flexibility employees now value,” Lisa added. Work / life (im)balance? Both UK-based and French workers admitted to feeling a lack of support from their organisations, with 12 per cent and 13 per cent respectively reporting feeling their work / life balance is ‘not at all’ valued by their employer. Spanish workers, on the other hand, also feel most appreciated in this instance, with over a third (34%) reporting they feel their work / life balance is ‘very valued’ by their organisation. This apparent lack of balance has resulted in over half (52%) of Europeans admitting they struggle to fit exercise around their working lives. More than two in five (43%) respondents across the continent claim they ‘don’t have time’ to exercise more – with around 1 in 10 (9%) citing stress as they reason they aren’t more active. 37 per cent of Brits agreed that a lack of the time was the main reason for them not exercising more frequently than they currently do today. Lisa added, “As employees across all ages and generations become more health-conscious and aware, active lifestyles are playing a more important role in our daily lives. Yet, there is clearly more work for organisations to do to encourage this healthier, more flexible way of life. However, it will certainly play a key role for their business. “If leaders want to attract and maintain a pool of talented employees, it is important they regularly evaluate their workspaces to ensure they’re fit for today’s changing workstyles.”

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