Monday, October 2, 2023

Britain’s disdain for work

The UK is one of the “least work-oriented” countries in the world, according to the 24-country World Values ​​Survey.

WHO IS IT. Only 22% of Britons believe that “work comes first, even if it means less free time”, compared to 39% of the French and 45% of the Spanish.

KAY. A quarter of Britons practice “hybrid working” and are reluctant to return to the office.

The slogan “back to the office” has long fallen on deaf ears United Kingdom, and now we are beginning to know why. The British are among the “least work-oriented” in the world and are at the bottom of Europe in the ranking of the World Values ​​​​​​Survey, with data from 24 countries.

Only 22% subscribe to the phrase “work comes first, even if it means less free time”, compared to 39% of the French and 45% of the Spanish. In France, 94% recognize that work is “an important part of their life”, and the percentage rises to 96% in Italy, despite the cliché of la dolce vita. The proportion drops to 74% in the case of the British.

More shocking facts. 40 years ago, 23% of the inhabitants of the British Isles believed that work should be given “less importance.” Now 43% agree with the statement and more than half admit that the lack of work should not be associated with the stigma of laziness.

“This study breaks all stereotypes,” warns Bobby Duffy, professor at Kings College London and principal investigator of the World Values ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ “We Brits often have a misconception of how different we are and how other countries view work compared to us.”

According to Duffy, the survey shows how the pandemic is serving promote a change in values ​​and the diminishing importance of work in the order of people’s priorities, with health, physical and mental well-being and family and personal relationships rise in general.

Despite the damage caused by the cost of living crisis, the nature of work is changing rapidly in the United Kingdom due to the impact of the technological revolution and the entry into the game of millennials. “This is a trend that can also be seen in other developed countries, where personal self-affirmation and the desire to do what you want is more than the cult of work, despite the economic uncertainty,” concludes said Duffy.

Covid has also brought a Copernican turn to working methods in the British, who are taking longer than their European neighbors to return to offices. Just a year ago, 40% admitted to practicing “hybrid work” between home and office. The percentage is currently 25%, but the trend is that it will rise again due to the response of the labor market.

64% of white-collar workers would rather change jobs than return full-time to the office, according to another survey by The British Business Expert, in a warning aimed at reluctant bosses and cannot be changed by new working methods.

“Five-day workweeks are unnecessary,” proclaimed HSBC CEO Noel Quinn, when justifying the move from the bank’s iconic headquarters in Canary Wharf to another with half the space in the City of London. London’s second financial center is fast disappearing, with 15% of offices out of work, compared to 11% in the City, which is also experiencing its own exodus.

“As the world adapts to new ways of working, we need to recognize that the dogmatic approach of returning to the office is a big step back in the path of work and family life,” warns Ben Marks, head of #WorkAnywhere campaign.

“The benefits of hybrid work are not just financial,” adds Marks. “There are many studies that show how it improves the productivity of workers. Stanford University followed 16,000 workers and concluded that the those who do it remotely are more productive than those in the office“.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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