A survey has revealed people who live in London or Wales are the most anxious in the UK due to work worries. Two out of five Londoners also claimed to have the worst work-life balance, with 35% doing more than 50 hours per week.  

According to the study by Eos Scientific, it’s not just people in the capital who struggle with their work-life balance. Employees in the East Midlands and West Midlands also experience excessive hours.  

That’s in sharp contrast to cities such as Stockholm. Most companies in the Swedish capital offer employees flexible hours, only requiring them to be in the workplace between 9am and 4pm or even 10am and 3pm. Employees also have the right to take days off to look after a sick child, with the government reimbursing them for 80% of any lost earnings. 

Thankfully, there are jobs here in the UK that can offer a much better work-life balance – and for many, it’s those roles that provide opportunities for flexible hours or even the chance to work from home. 

Top of many dream job lists for this reason is the role of data scientist. This has come a long way from the basic business of information analysis. Today it involves harnessing the technologies of computer applications and being proficient in online statistical and analytics tools – all of which can be done just as easily from home as in an office. 

Moreover, with the demand for data scientists booming, more and more companies are now offering flexible working hours and home working to prospective candidates. 

In return you’ll bring a mathematics or computer science degree and be able to apply tech talents and problem-solving skills to crunch data and predict trends and new business opportunities. 

On a similar theme is the role of software developer, which also consistently features high on hit lists for job seekers on x1jobs. Creating innovative new apps is not only hugely satisfying, but the job doesn’t need to follow normal office hours. If you get your best ideas at three in the morning, there’s nothing stopping you putting them into action at the office or from the comfort of your own home-based desktop. 

Such flexibility is also a top feature of being a sports coach or fitness instructor. 

Through helping teams or individuals reach their sporting ambitions or personal fitness goals, coaches and instructors have a great work-life balance because they can often set their own hours in advance. Stress levels are low, too, thanks to all that time spent working at the training ground or in the gym. 

Working with people is also at the heart of a specialist area of tourism and hospitality – the tour guide combines a love of locations with a passion for sharing their knowledge about them.  

This can mean escorting visitors around a city, explaining the historical significance of buildings and attractions, or travelling to the most beautiful parts of the UK and enjoying a workplace of mountains, valleys and beaches. It’s a job that involves meeting new people, travel, continual learning and lots of free time in amazing places – the perfect balance of work and life. 


If freeing yourself in this way is a factor in your future job choices, the role of marketing assistant could be a perfect match. Variety and flexibility are both features of marketing: directly supporting a marketing manager, daily duties can include everything from research and copywriting to creating marketing campaigns and promoting events. 

Of course, sometimes getting the right work-life balance is not about the job itself but how we approach it. A Mental Health Foundation survey found that when working long hours more than a quarter of employees feel depressed (27%), one third feel anxious (34%) and more than half feel irritable (58%). 

So, their advice is to work smarter not longer. The best way to do this is to give each task in your daily workload a level of priority then concentrate on one at a time, giving yourself sufficient time to complete it. 

Proper breaks are also hugely important, especially at lunchtime when you should try to get away from the workplace for at least half an hour and enjoy a proper, nutritious meal. 

If you work in HR, you’re in the perfect position to encourage a culture of openness about the potential stress caused by deadlines and workloads. Training also allows managers to identify situations where there may be a poor work-life balance then develop ways to create a stress-free environment for all employees. 

Of course, working in HR is itself a great place to find balance. Being an HR assistant or manager means developing great people skills and ensuring employees get the most from their workplace experience – a hugely satisfying job. But with office hours being the norm in HR, there is also plenty of time after work to use your refined people and communication skills to enjoy a full and active social life. 

If you’d like to find a role where the work-life balance is built in, why not take a look at the vacancies currently available online?