What is work–life balance?

 “Nobody on their deathbed ever said ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office’,” as one wise man once said.

Work-life balance is about ensuring work doesn’t take up more of your life than it should. It means making sure that you don’t work longer hours than are good for you; that you don’t chew up your free time worrying about work; and that you’re not too tired to have a life beyond the workplace. It’s about keeping things in perspective, and recognising that you’re more than just an employee.

Better work-life balance is badly needed in the UK. In 2014-15, working Brits put in £32 billion of unpaid overtime. The effect of a bad work-life balance can have serious long-term consequences for your health, relationships, social life, ambitions, personal development and even your sense of identity. 

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.