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Employees aged 25-34 most unhappy with work-life balance

People in their late twenties and early thirties are more unhappy about their work-life balance than any other age group, with almost half saying that there is sometimes an expectation from their employer that they work outside normal hours, according to a YouGov poll.

The report published on Friday shows that one in five 25-34 year-olds are unhappy with their work-life balance, compared to around one in six 18-24 year-olds. The older workers get, the happier they seem to become with just 14 per cent of 35-44 year-olds and 17 per cent of 45-54 year-olds saying that they feel unhappy with the balance between their professional and private lives.

The over-55s are generally the most content, with just one in 10, or 11 per cent, saying that they are not satisfied with their work-life balance.

“The issue of maintaining a healthy work life balance is key to both employees and organisations. However, 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,” says Stephen Harmston, head of YouGov Reports.

He said that human resource departments should particularly focus on those aged 25-34.

“Regular contact is needed in order to placate their worries and frustrations,” he said.

The survey, based on responses from 1,995 employed adults in the UK, found that responding to communications out of hours, for example e-mails, is one of the major pressures employees feel.

More than four in 10 of those questioned said that they read or send work-related emails outside of office hours. A total of 38 per cent said that they also tend to make or receive work phones calls while on holiday.

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Earlier this month, a study conducted by, a website that provides price comparison services for credit cards, loans and mortgages, showed that 60 per cent of British workers said that they don’t have a good work-life balance and only a third said that they typically leave work on time.

The figures also showed a stark divide between men and women. While 43 per cent of men said that they are paid for overtime, only 30 per cent of women claim that they get extra cash for extra hours.


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