The ‘always-on’ work culture

In a recent survey by CV-Library 72.4% of Brits admit to replying to work-related emails, or making work-related calls, in their free time. One in three (34.8%) admit that they check their phone for work purposes immediately before they go to sleep and as soon as they wake up.

The survey of 1,200 UK workers explored the impact of today’s ‘always on’ culture, revealing that 78.3% believe that this is having a negative effect on professionals. Respondents were also asked to share how working outside of their contracted hours has affected their life. The top problems to emerge include:

  1. Poor quality of sleep – 52.8%
  2. Increased stress levels – 51.9%
  3. Feeling exhausted – 50.6%
  4. Spending less time with family – 47.6%
  5. Unable to do enjoyable hobbies – 38.8%

Over one third (34.9%) have access to shared drives and workspaces, with 62.1% saying that they access these outside of working hours. This has lead to 71.9% agreeing that mobile devices are blurring the lines between our personal and our work lives.

We can all agree that our working lives are changing, the advances in technology, the rise in contract work and ‘gig economy’ all play a factor.

“At Youth Employment UK we would recommend that employers consider this “always available” culture particularly with regards to young employees.  You can see from these stats its hard for lots of us, and we know that the transition between education and employment can already be quite tough for some young people. Walking in to an environment where there is little chance to switch off and expectations are 24×7 can understandably have a negative impact on the well-being, engagement and retention of young staff” Laura-Jane Rawlings CEO, Youth Employment UK

We have worked with hundreds of employers to assess and improve their Youth Friendly status, co-created with young people our 5 youth friendly principles help employers to really consider how they are attracting, recruiting and retaining young staff. Our Youth Friendly Principles now form our Talent Match Mark Awards, through our membership organisations can access advice, guidance, resources to help them become the more youth friendly employers for young people to succeed within.

Next steps:

  • Find out more about the Talent Match Mark here 
  • Explore how becoming a community member can help you to attract, recruit and retain young employees
  • Read more about our Young Professional Membership and how we are giving young people the knowledge and power to develop their employability skills

For further information: Contact us by phone on 01536 680916 or email us at

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Apply now for the Youth Friendly Employer Award:

  • A quality kitemark for employers
  • A powerful recruitment & development tool
  • Attract candidates for apprenticeships & early careers

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