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Research reveals employees think people 'should work to live, not live to work'

David Woods , 28 Oct 2009

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The recession has prompted employees to reconsider what makes them happy - refocusing on personal rewards rather than consumerism and money.

Findings in a new report from 02 show 71% of workers agree the recession is making British people reconsider what they believe to be important to them and what will make them happy, and 93% think this is a good thing.

The report shows that the vast majority of the 1,201 British workers surveyed by ICM and O2 see work as a means to an end with more than eight in 10 (83%) saying that people ‘should work to live, not live to work' - a radical shift from the ‘greed is good' mentality of the 1980s and the property-fuelled consumerism of the mid-2000s.

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Achieving personal happiness and contentment has become a top priority for many Brits, with more than half (58%) claiming they would proactively choose to earn less money if they could work for a company that provides them with time to pursue their interests. This desire has fuelled a renewed interest in work-life balance over the past 12 months with 95% of workers saying a good work-life balance is important today. Almost half of those surveyed (48%) also agree that work-life balance is more important to them now that it was 12 months ago - only 3% saying it is less important.

Nearly nine out of 10 (86%) workers say that being able to develop your skills at work is important.

Ann Pickering, HR director at Telefónica O2 UK, said: "The onset of recession in the Britain led to significant changes for many of us. Whilst there is speculation that there's a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, the past 12 months will have had a long-lasting effect - and, as our report indicates, for many that means a reassessment of what is important in life. 

"As an employer of more than 13,000 people in the UK, O2 knows how important it is to keep in touch with what people want from their career. O2 prides itself on its reputation as one of the best employers in Britain and we are committed to staying connected with the goals and needs of our workforce so we continue to have a happy, motivated and dynamic work culture at O2. We want to ensure we help our people achieve their personal and professional goals today and as we head into a new decade that will start with significantly different goals than we've seen in the past five or six years. 

"Training is a key focus for O2 and we continue to invest to help our people achieve their professional goals. At the same time we also continue to promote initiatives that allow people to realise their personal goals; we have a Learning Fund that gives O2 employees money to learn a new skill of their choice - be it stand-up comedy or cooking." 

 

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