People would pay a lot to get a better work-life balance

And society as a whole would benefit, says report

Most people would be willing to give up £20 of their weekly income for an hour off, according to a report to be published next week.

Despite rising living costs, wage freezes and fears over job security, the average person in the UK is still willing to make financial sacrifices to improve their work-life balance. Many households would opt for a small reduction in income to improve the collective well-being of society, a study by the Demos think tank and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found.

The report due to be published on Tuesday, Good Growth: A Demos and PwC Report on Economic Wellbeing, shows that the average household would be willing to forgo £1,200 of its yearly disposable income if they believed this would reduce unemployment or long-term illness by 1 per cent. Most would also be willing to sacrifice £500 to improve equality within society.

In recent years, there has been a big increase in demand for all forms of flexible working. The law provides carers and parents with statutory rights to request more flexibility in hours. Jane and Liam Blackmore, both 34, from Caversham, have three children and Liam is a full-time father. Mrs Blackmore, who works full time, said a better work-life balance was difficult because she is the only breadwinner. "I work four days a week in the office and many more hours from home. I do strive for more of a work-life balance, but I find that if something has to give, it is usually time with my husband. The money I earn is very important as I am the only wage earner. In a dream world I would spend more time at home, but in reality it is not feasible."

The Demos report recommends that encouraging firms to increase opportunities for flexible working would be well received by the public and could increase staff engagement, motivation and performance.

Kitty Ussher, co-author of the report said: "It might not be a complete surprise that people would rather work less than they currently do, but it is surprising just how dearly they value their free time."

Firms that don't allow employees to be flexible with their time are missing a trick. "A better rested, more engaged workforce would make business sense," said Ms Ussher.

"Notwithstanding tight budgets, the desire to reduce levels of unemployment and disability, as well as looking out for future generations, reminds us that [the public] feel a sense of collective responsibility – perhaps more than they get credit for."

Paul Cleal, a government and public sector leader at PwC, added: "Companies are getting better at meeting the demands for flexibility, not only because of new technology, but also new attitudes. By demonstrating flexibility as an employer, companies get more committed staff, which is reflected in lower turnover and higher productivity."


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers

Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution

Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Science Teacher

    £21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Science teacher requi...

    Deputy Head of Science

    £36000 - £60000 per annum: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client are a we...

    IT Teacher

    £22000 - £32000 per annum + TLR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client is...

    Database Administrator

    £300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London