Work in Progress: Welsh work-life balance ranked as lowest in UK

  • Pandemic has caused rise in work-life balance score, as average rating hits 7.2 out of 10
  • Men rank their work-life balance higher than women and the UK average
  • Plymouth, Bristol, and Sheffield residents have the highest work-life balance score of all residents in the UK at 7.5
  • Cardiff residents rank their work-life balance at 6.9

The work-life balance of Brits has risen during the pandemic to hit an average rating of 7.2 out of 10.

MoneySuperMarket spoke to over 2,000 households across the country to find out how the pandemic impacted their work-life balance.1 On a scale of one to 10, with zero being low and 10 being high, the results showed that the average rating for work-life balance improved by 0.4 when compared to before the pandemic.

Experiences of work-life balance throughout the pandemic varied based on gender. Overall, nearly one quarter (23%) of Brits agreed that their work-life balance has improved because they spend less time commuting. However, men are more likely to feel this way than women, with 30% of men agreeing in comparison to only 17% of women. This has resulted in men having a higher work-life balance rating than women at 7.3 compared to 7.0 respectively.

Wales has the lowest ranked work-life balance out in the UK, with residents ranking it at an average rating of 6.7 out of 10.

Pre-pandemic work-life balance was rated at 6.6 for Welsh residents, which means that even though there has been a slight improvement in perception it is the lowest increase nationwide.


Average work-life balance of Brits: 

Area/Region  Average work-life balance rating before the pandemic  Average work-life balance rating during the pandemic  Average work-life balance rating now Difference from before the pandemic to now
South West 6.9 7.1 7.4 +0.5
North West 7.1 7.0 7.4 +0.3
Yorkshire 6.8 7.1 7.3 +0.5
Midlands 7.0 6.9 7.2 +0.2
North East 6.8 6.6 7.2 +0.4
East Anglia 6.6 6.7 7.1 +0.5
London 6.9 6.8 7.1 +0.2
Scotland 6.8 6.8 7.0 +0.2
South East 6.5 6.6 7.0 +0.5
Northern Ireland 6.7 6.5 6.9 +0.2
Wales 6.6 6.1 6.7 +0.1

Neal Cross, life insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “There has been ongoing debate around the pros and cons of working from home during the pandemic. On one hand, with no commute, there has been increased family time or time to enjoy hobbies, but equally employees may feel pressure to work additional hours while at home. There are also some who have lost their jobs or been unable to work, and for who any extra time at home may be less welcome. Overall, however, the story is more positive, with nearly a quarter (23%) of people stating that their work-life balance has improved.

“The pandemic has caused Brits to increase their work-life balance score by 0.4 points to give a total average score of 7.2 out of 10. Although this is a step in the right direction, many have experienced first-hand the impact of the pandemic, whether it has been causing an improvement or decline in their work-life balance, created a change in family dynamic, or even resulted in the loss a salary. As we adjust to these changes it’s important to make sure we have our priorities front of mind.

“One of those priorities is ensuring that you’re thinking forward and ensuring your loved ones are covered financially whatever the situation. Considering life insurance options is a vital part of this, and it’s always worth shopping around to ensure you get the best deal on your policy. Comparison sites, like MoneySuperMarket, have a range of options from different providers to purchase, offering immediate cover at varying levels and prices to suit your budget and needs.”

You can find out whether you need life insurance via the MoneySuperMarket website.

1 All data related to consumer research conducted between 16th June 2021 and 22nd June 2021