Recruiter Randstad UK surveyed 2,000 employees and found that only 20% of those working part-time would prefer to work more hours. It said the percentage of the UK’s total employed workforce working part-time has risen from 20% in 1990 and 23% in 2000, to 25% in 2010.
Mark Bull, managing director of Randstad UK, said: “The growth in flexible part-time employment that provides a better work-life balance is being driven by employees – not employers. Four out of every five part-time workers don’t want to work full-time.”
The research also claims part-time work is a “female phenomenon”, saying women are less likely to be happy with their work-life balance.
“In the UK only 12% of men work part-time compared to 42% of women,” said Bull. “With our study suggesting 50% more women are unhappy with their work-life balance than men, it’s clear more women are demanding part-time work to fit around their lives.”
The research found that 59% of British workers are happy with their work-life balance and that hours worked does not correlate with satisfaction. Together with those in Yorkshire and the Humber, workers in London were most happy with their work-life balance despite working the longest hours. Workers in the South West were least happy with their work-life balance and yet have a shorter average working week than most of the UK.
“This research proves that the key to better balance is not simply to work shorter hours or earn more cash. A more holistic approach is needed to find rewarding work that interests and engages us. It’s not simply about putting up with anything in return for more money or time,” added Bull.