In theory, work should facilitate your life outside of it (unless you’re lucky enough to be living the dream of actively enjoying every part of what you do for a living). But be honest: do you ever feel under pressure to work more hours than you’re paid for? Or to deal with work-related calls and emails even when you’re on holiday?
If that’s the case, chances are you’re aged between 25 and 34, as new research claims this is the age group most dissatisfied with their work-life balance.
The survey, conducted by YouGov, polled almost 2,000 people on the impact their jobs have on their lives, and one in five (21%) of the 25-34 age bracket, aka early millennials, said they were unhappy with their current balance.
The percentage decreased to 15% of those aged 18 to 24, 14% of those aged 35 to 44 and 17% of those aged 45 to 54. The group happiest with the balance was the over-55s, with just one in 10 (11%) describing themselves as dissatisfied.
Of the 25-34-year-olds, 41% said there was sometimes an expectation from their employer to work outside their normal hours and 26% said there was pressure to work outside their regular work day.
Technology seems to be playing a part in work leaking through to our private lives, with the report, titled Work Life Balance – The Tools for Retention, claiming almost half (43%) read or send work-related emails outside of office hours, and 38% either making or receiving work phone calls while on holiday.
The report goes on to discuss the self-reported impact that poor work-life balance can have on employees, claiming those struggling tend to be “more disengaged with life in general than the average person”, with 34% envying their friends’ lifestyles and 46% feeling “alienated by modern life”.
The Independent cites Stephen Harmston, head of YouGov Reports, as saying work-related pressure on the 25-34 age group is “very real” and linked it to the competition for jobs.
“With many young people finding it tricky to find employment, the pressure to go above and beyond what should be normally expected is very real,” he said. “Regular contact is needed [from HR departments] in order to placate their worries and frustrations.”
A survey of three million people last year claimed mid-60s to late 70s was the happiest age to be.