Work Life Week 2019 – are we living to work, or working to live?

October 8, 2019 / Libby Barrett

The average UK employee will spend around 85,000 hours at work during their lifetime – that’s just under ten years*!

Globally this number is on the rise, so it’s no surprise that having a healthy work life balance is becoming essential to employed people and their employers – perhaps even more so for those with children at home.
This week marks National Work Life Week (7-11 October), a campaign run by Working Families that explores the importance of maintaining a healthy balance for working parents and carers, whilst also giving both employers and employees the chance to shine a light on wellbeing and the work life mix in the workplace.
It also follows the release of a major survey, named The Better Life Index, from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), which named The Netherlands as the country with the best work life balance. The UK was 11th from last of the 35 states in the list**. Determining factors include leisure and personal time, the employment of mothers, household income and wealth, and working hours.
At work, benefits are central to a healthy balance – from flexible working through to supportive financial benefits or ongoing education. For many, being able to continue to better themselves is key to maintaining a healthy sense of wellbeing, yet finding time to study can be hard.

Open Study College student Aneta is 30 years old and has two young children.

Work Life Week - student Aneta
Originally from Poland, since living in the UK Aneta has been able to continue her education via distance learning; something that has contributed to her sense of wellbeing and happiness.
She said: “As a working mum with a busy working husband I didn’t think I had time to do anything other than fulfil those key responsibilities. Studying was something I wanted to continue to do in order to better myself in my role as a carer for those with disabilities and mental illnesses.”
She added: “I knew I wanted to study, despite lacking free time. Distance learning is so flexible, there is no pressure and I can study whenever I want to.”
Aneta is currently studying Introduction to Psychology Level 2 with us. She hopes to enrol on further courses in the future.
Other comments from students included this one from a working mum of one: “I’m so glad distance learning was an option for me. It has allowed me to strike a good work life balance between working, studying, doing the school run and spending quality time with my family.”

Talking about Work Life Week, our CEO Sam Rutter, commented:

“Flexibility is often a key reason behind our students opting for the distance learning route. In fact, 75% of our students said that they chose distance learning as it allows them to fit studying around their schedule, including work and family commitments. A further 20% directly referenced children as a motivating factor as well. This demonstrates the importance of flexibility for people trying to create a healthy balance between work, home life and themselves.”
*Study released in 2018 stated that British workers would work on average 84,171 hours across their career.
**The list was compiled of 35 OECD member states. The organisation compiled a list of the lowest 13 and the top 10. The UK came 11th from the bottom.

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Libby Barrett

As Digital Content Executive for OSC, I'm currently studying my IDM Digital Marketing qualification through distance learning. I absolutely love all things creative and when I'm not at Open Study College, I'm being a complete theatre nerd, performing in panto or amateur productions!

Work Life Week 2019 – are we living to work, or working to live?
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