United Kingdom

Working parents go for days without spending time with children

June 2017


Workplace pressure is causing parents to go days without interacting with their children, a leading charity has warned.

A recent survey of 2,264 UK adults by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) showed that parents are not spending enough time with their family, with one in 10 admitting they last spent quality time with their family well over a year ago, whilst some said they had never spent quality time together.

Over a quarter of working parents said they were often too busy to spend time with their children and 28 per cent said they left the house for work without seeing them at least once a week.

The research also revealed a significant change in family relationships from previous generations. 57 per cent of respondents said they spent less time with their family than they had when they were children. 42 per cent blamed social media for creating a barrier to family relationships whilst just under half said they felt guilty they didn’t spend enough time together.

Charles Alberts, Senior Consultant at Aon Employee Benefits said engaging in meaningful relationships was “vital” to staff wellbeing, whilst enabling good relationships with family, friends and co-workers provided a “fantastic opportunity” for employers to improve the quality of peoples’ lives which in turn, would enhance engagement and productivity at work.

“It’s one of the reasons why Aon has placed equal importance of social, financial, physical and emotional wellbeing within its own wellbeing strategy,” Alberts added.

The BHF research forms part of a national campaign to reduce stress in daily life and raise awareness of heart disease. The charity is urging families to get together on 9th June and wear red for the charity’s Wear it, Beat it annual campaign.

Donna Spriggs Elliott, head of community fundraising at the BHF commented: “It's clear that our busy modern day lifestyles, and the stresses of the daily grind, are keeping us from spending time with our families. Heart disease devastates the lives of millions of people across the UK, often without warning, so finding a way to break away from our normal routines to spend time together is important and our Wear it, Beat it day is the perfect opportunity."

Summing up, Alberts commented: “These days, there is a far greater appreciation of the impact people’s personal lives can have on work and vice versa. Implementing a flexible working policy and being open to discuss employees’ specific requirements can have a significant impact.

“And whilst it must be acknowledged that being flexible is not always possible in every work environment, if the culture is one that places people first and line managers are empowered to make the right decisions for their teams, a solution can always be found. In particular, employers could look at ways to help facilitate social time by making activities more accessible, maybe providing discounted family days out, family breaks or discounted meals. Often these benefits are already included in existing packages and just need to be highlighted as part of a targeted communication exercise.”



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