Britain is often affectionately referred to as a nation of complainers.
If it’s not the weather, then it’s the public transport system. If it’s not the government, then it’s how many hours we spend at work.
But recent statistics suggest that we may in fact be enjoying all this complaining a little too much…
More Holidays, Less Work…
Over the last 20 years, working hours have dropped and the number of holidays taken has skyrocketed – and yet more and more people report dissatisfaction with their working hours.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released information yesterday revealing that in the last two decades, the number of people working part-time hours in the UK has risen by 6.8% as the number of people working over 45 hours a week has fallen by 4.8%.
At the same time, the number of holidays taken for leisure or to visit loved ones both in the UK and abroad has risen from around 25,000 a year to over 148 million.
…But Britain Sings the Blues
“Do we live to work or work to live?” the ‘Measuring National Well-being – What We Do’ report asked of its readers yesterday. “Getting the right balance between work and leisure is important in determining the well-being of the nation.”
But although the numbers seem to be more in our favour now than ever before, 48% of respondents claim that their overall well-being is negatively impacted by the time they spend working.
So why are we so unhappy with our working hours when we spend more time away from the office now than at any other time in recent history? ONS numbers suggest that what we choose to do with our spare time could be a factor:
• 9 out of every 10 people in the UK get home only to watch TV
• Just 54% engage in any sort of physical activity outside of work
• Volunteering and charitable activities are at their lowest point in a decade
Not All Doom and Gloom
The best news in the report is that 77.8% of working adults are ‘somewhat’, ‘mostly’ or ‘completely’ happy with their jobs – reflecting a steady year-on-year rise in job satisfaction across the UK.
So maybe that’s why we’re so miserable away from the office…?
Elsewhere on the Blog…