Work-life balance is the biggest health concern

The biggest health and wellbeing concern for employers in the UK at present is a person's work-life balance. This is according to a new survey by Group Risk Development (GRiD), which found this worry ranked higher than stress and mental health issues - the most common cause of absence from the workplace.

According to the study, 21 per cent of bosses cited the issue of employees juggling work and outside life as the factor causing them the most distress.

This was followed by concern over mental health issues, which were put forward by 19 per cent of those polled.

The findings suggest that employers appreciate that long hours can have an adverse effect on workers and their outside lives.

Katharine Moxham, spokeswoman for GRiD, noted work-life balance is often overlooked as a health issue for companies, but added: "The economic situation seems to have provided a timely reminder for businesses to take action to rectify unsustainable working practice."

Chartered Psychologist Professor Gail Kinman said: "The fact that work-life balance has become the top health and wellbeing concern amongst employers is unsurprising. 

"Many organisations have cut back on their work-life balance initiatives in response to current economic conditions.

"There is also evidence that employees are prepared to work longer and harder as they are concerned about their job security. Prioritising work-life balance is vital for a healthy, happy and productive workforce.  

"While a long hours culture may have short term benefits for business, it will have negative implications for health and job performance over the longer term."

Professor Kinman will be presenting on the topic of work-life balance at the Society's Division of Occupational Psychology Annual Conference which takes place in Chester from 11 until 13 January 2012.