31% of UK women believe they have a good work-life balance

New research has revealed that just 31% of UK-based women believe they have a good work-life balance – a fall from 71% before the pandemic.

Deloitte Global conducted a survey, entitled Women @ work: a global outlook, among 5,000 women in 10 countries – including 500 working in the UK – to understand the impact of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic on their personal and professional lives.

The survey found that 76% of UK women said their workload had increased since the pandemic, while half of all respondents stated the relationship with their employer had suffered as a result of changing their working hours to manage increased caring responsibilities.

The mental health of working women has also worsened, with just 27% stating they had good mental health compared to 68% pre-pandemic, and nearly half (48%) feeling burned out.

Additionally, four in 10 UK respondents believed their employer had provided sufficient support for them since the beginning of the pandemic and 44% of women said their career wasn’t progressing as fast as they would like. Nearly six in 10 (59%) felt less optimistic about their career prospects than before the pandemic, and a quarter (24%) were considering leaving the workforce altogether.

Jackie Henry, managing partner of people and purpose at Deloitte UK, said: “The survey findings are a stark reflection of the reality, responsibilities and wellbeing of working women in the UK and what needs to be done to reverse the pandemic’s disproportionate affects on this group of people.”

She highlighted that the study revealed a “staggeringly” low number of women – only 4% – expect to remain at their organisation for more than five years.

Henry added: “As businesses look to rebuild their workplaces, the organisations that prioritise diversity and inclusion in their policies and culture – and provide tangible support for the women in their workforces – will be more resilient against future disruptions. Additionally, they will lay the groundwork needed to propel women and all gender equality forward in the workplace.”