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Employee work-life balance worse because of the recession

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Many workers in the UK have seen their work-life balance seriously deteriorate as a consequence of the recession, according to a new survey.

The Cornwall Development Company (CDC) found that one in three (35 per cent) of the UK’s 30 million workers are spending more time at work than at home since the start of the economic downturn.

The reasons for being overworked were many. A third of people said that had been given extra responsibilities, a fifth said that they were understaffed and others stated that the increase in cost of living had resulted in them working longer.

Dr Alexandra Beauregard, a lecturer in Employment Relations and Organisational Behaviour at the London School of Economics, said that many organisations operating through tough economic times thought that a decent balance between work and leisure was a luxury they could do without.

She said: “This is a short-sighted perspective; maintaining a motivated and productive workforce is more important than ever in an economic downturn.

“Individuals working for a supportive organisation reciprocate with increased effort, initiative, and loyalty – they go the extra mile.”

She added that those who were overworked and overvalued would continue to work diligently to keep their jobs but would “jump ship as soon as a better option presents itself”.

The CDC, on behalf of Cornwall Council, promotes Cornwall to the world.

Its mission is to “achieve sustainable prosperity with opportunity for all” by helping to develop and deliver the economic strategies for the county.