BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

28 October 2014

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Gloucestershire

South East Wales
Hereford & Worcs

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Time to go home?
Last updated: 16 June 2004 1609 BST
lineWorking too hard? You're not alone, it seems. Britons put in longer hours than any other nation in Europe. Find out how to improve your work/life balance...
See Also
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
View a print friendly version of this page
Talk to us and each other

Do you find it hard to switch off from work?

Are you counting spreadsheets instead of sheep? Still logged on during your lunch break?

If your work/life balance leaves a little to be desired, you're not alone.

Britain boasts the longest working hours in Europe, something which may not only be affecting the health of the workforce but also, surprisingly, economic output.


A recent survey carried out by the Department of Trade and Industry and Men's Health magazine showed that 71% of men believed their failure to strike a balance between life and job was affecting their performance at work.

Gloucestershire-based Tracy Meachin-Adams is managing director of Dynamic Solutions, which provides training to companies and individuals to help them work more effectively.

"You have to create a work/life balance, it doesn't naturally come, I know that from personal experience," she said.

"I was very stressed, I was very unhealthy.

"When I wasn't working I was absolutely shattered. You've got to draw the line in the sand."

Tracy Meachin-Adams
Tracy Meachin-Adams

Cultural Factor

Part of her work is helping people to find this balance.

"It's become a cultural thing that people think you have to stay at work as long as possible, you've got to be seen to be there longer.

"But often these people are not as working as effectively as they could be because they are operating at quite a stressed level."

quoteI was very stressed, I was very unhealthy.
Tracy Meachin-Adams

She recognised two simple steps which could help people towards improving their quality of life.

"Talk about it. Even if it's just to your mates, this acknowledges the situation and that will encourage you to do something about it."

Regular exercise is an effective means helping to deal with the stress of a hectic lifestyle.

"I was a member of a gym that I never went to, so I spent a little more and got myself a personal trainer.

"It was the best present I ever gave myself - I have more stamina, sleep better, am less stressed and have lost weight."


In 2001 The Money Programme conducted an experiment where they forced the staff of a Devon-based crystal factory to work only within their set hours for a week.

Speaking to BBC News afterwards, warehouse manager Mark Jordan said: "It's made me sit back and realise that there is more to life."


dotted divider

If you would like to comment on this story get in touch at or have your say on our messageboard
You are in:
» Features


2005 Archive
Check out the 2005 Features archive for past stories from the website

2004 Archive
Check out the 2004 Features archive for past stories from the website

See also:
Gardening tips with Reg
Motoring with Zog Ziegler

Food and Drink
A Royal County
Untold Stories
Food and drink
Gardening Q&A
Ghostly Gloucestershire
Countywide theatre guide
Cinema listings
Upcoming comedy
Photo galleries link
Web Cams
Gloucestershire in 360°
Interactive map

BBC Gloucestershire
London Road

Telephone (website only):
+44 (0)1452 308585


Gloucester docks

dotted line
dotted line

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy