Working parents are struggling to find work-life balance

19 April 2017

Our recent research shows that working parents are using up their annual leave to meet the demands of life admin – those unavoidable tasks and events that interrupt our everyday lives.

“Striking a balance between work and home life can be challenging at the best of times and that’s without the inconvenience – and sometimes havoc – caused by life’s inevitable interruptions,” observes Sonia Wolsey-Cooper, AXA PPP healthcare’s Membership Director.

"We can’t escape from responsibilities such as sorting out motor and money matters and neither should we ignore ourselves or our loved ones when we or they need to see a doctor, but for many this comes at a price as they’re having to use up their holiday entitlement to do so.”

The research

  • 8 out of 10 (82%) find it difficult to deal with this ‘life admin’ outside of their normal working hours.
  • The working parents surveyed identified having too much work and not enough time (29%), inflexible working hours (24%) and working too far from home to easily deal with life admin demands (18%) as the main barriers.
  • Half (48%) the respondents said they had resorted to taking annual leave to mind the gap. Getting help from somebody else (41%) or taking unpaid leave (39%) also featured among the options they said they had turned to.
  • Getting their car MOT'd or serviced and getting to a bank to sort out a finance matter were also identified as problematic (by 24% and 20% of working parents).

For parents with life admin challenges, dealing with health matters was the area they found most difficult to overcome during normal working hours.

Health related parent challenges

  • Getting a doctor’s appointment for themselves (highlighted by 45%).
  • Getting an appointment for their child (37% ).
  • Wait times for doctor appointments (average of four and a half day wait).
  • Arranging a dentist appointment.
  • Caring for a sick child at the last minute.

Sonia continues, “As a healthcare company we appreciate the pressures people face in their lives and this often comes into sharp focus when it comes to needing medical advice for themselves or for a member of their family. But relief is at hand and Doctor@Hand, our private GP service accessed by video or phone, can be a real help in securing a consultation quickly and conveniently when time is not on your side.”

The solution

Doctor@Hand, provided by Doctor Care Anywhere, provides online access 365 days a year to an experienced UK-trained GP with appointment times usually available within two hours – suiting people’s work and personal commitments. Available to AXA PPP healthcare members with the extended cover option and non-members on an annual subscription or pay as you go basis – find our more here. The service can be used both in the UK and overseas – for the added peace of mind of having a doctor at hand when holidaying or undertaking work assignments abroad.

Life admin infographic