National Work Life Week highlights risks of long work hours

According to a research study led by University College London, those who work more than 55 hours a week have a 33% increased risk of suffering a stroke compared with those who work a 35-hour to 40-hour week.

National Work Life Week is supported by Working Families, who believe we should be working to live, not living for work.

What’s the issue? Those who work longer hours are not only at risk of increased stress, but also of increased risk of illness, as the above study found.

Helping your employees to achieve a good work-life balance should be a priority for a caring employer. Not only that but ensuring the wellbeing of your employees means decreased absence, as well as improved engagement and productivity. Employees might come to work because they enjoy it, but the main reason is really to earn money so that they can live their lives.

What can you do? One of the most important things you can do as an employer is to communicate with your employees. Let them know they are valued and that you are here to support them. Employees need your support to achieve and maintain a good work life balance. They spend the majority of their waking hours at work, and so they need to know it’s ok to have a life outside of work.

You can support them in a number of ways:

  • Healthy lifestyle events and initiatives
  • Discussion groups / Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
  • Education sessions on topics that affect employees outside of work, like benefits and finance 
  • Allowing flexible working
  • Ensuring employees go home on time 
  • Allowing employees to work late to finish specific tasks, not to do more work

Ensuring the wellbeing of your employees is not just something you can do, it’s something you should do because without your employees, you wouldn’t have a business. If your employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to stay with you and to be engaged. For more information speak to your usual Jelf consultant or visit our website.