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UK employees come top in Europe over work-life balance priorities

The UK is leading the way in Europe with regards to how employees view work-life priorities, according to global research from Robert Half International.

The research, which surveyed executives from across businesses in South America, Continental Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia/New Zealand, shows that nearly three in 10 (29%) HR executives in the UK - the highest across Continental Europe - cited work-life balance as the primary motivation for employees leaving their company for other opportunities.

Employees in Switzerland are less concerned about this balance, with a low 4% stating that 'work-life' was a priority, followed closely by the Czech Republic (8%).

Remuneration is still the top reason for employees to leave their jobs, according to 32% of UK executives, although work-life balance is the top response amongst London-based respondents, with nearly four in 10 (38%) indicating so. Worldwide, remuneration remains a primary motivation for employees sourcing other jobs, with Singapore (58%), China (52%), Brazil (50%), Italy (45%) and Australia (40%) all favouring salary benefits. Conversely, career advancement is moving up the ranks with countries such as Germany (39%), Luxembourg (34%) and Netherlands (33%) all preferring this factor.

On the other hand, career advancement is not seen as a deciding factor in countries/states such as Dubai (11%), China (12%), Singapore (12%) and Italy ( 13%), instead salary is seen as the main factor when choosing a new role.

Phil Sheridan, MD Robert Half UK, said: "The work-life balance topic has always been highly debated - with many employees looking for ways to balance both professional and personal commitments. Companies looking to attract and retain the best staff need to stop focusing solely on remuneration but on other aspects of the work-life environment which are important to employees, such as career development and flexible working."

The comes a close second in the international rankings next to Chile, with one in three (32%) HR executives admitting that work-life balance was a priority for employees when evaluating other jobs.