A new study from Royal Bank of Scotland has revealed the mounting pressures of modern life in Scotland with one in four (25%) Scottish 25-34 year olds admitting that they find it difficult to manage their work-life balance.

The online research, conducted in partnership with YouGov, also found that the struggle starts as the weekend ends with one in five adults (22%) identifying Monday as the most stressful day of the week.

A generational gap is apparent as younger people tend to report higher levels of small daily pressure with one in four (25%) 18-24 year olds and 24% of respondents aged 25-34 finding the pressure to answer calls/ texts and notifications difficult to manage, compared to 10% of those aged 55+.

To provide the public with some much needed ‘easy wins’, Royal Bank will be running a series of events across Scotland’s transport network in the coming weeks in partnership with FirstBus and Lothian Buses that aim to reduce the pressures of daily life.

Every day pressures

The online survey was commissioned by the Royal Bank of Scotland to understand more about the everyday pressures that Scots face and the ways in which the bank can help.
Looking further into the causes of everyday stress, money issues are shown to be a key factor as one in five (21%) report that they struggle to manage their finances. This figure rises to almost one in three (32%) for 25-34 year olds.

The survey also suggests that younger generations tend to struggle when it comes to building and maintaining relationships. A third of 25-34 year olds in Scotland report finding it hard to make time for their friends, whilst more than one in five (23%) of 25-34 year olds find it hard to make time for their family or partner, figures which are the highest across all age categories.

Taking time out

Just over one in five (22%) report that they haven't always used their annual holiday allowance. More than one in four (27%) of 25-34 year olds haven't used their full allocation at least once in their career already. This compares with just (16%) of respondents aged 55+. This could point towards a cultural shift around taking annual leave where employees feel that they are pressured into presenteeism and experience guilt when scheduling and booking holidays.

When asked to think about the most recent time they hadn't used their full holiday allocation, almost one third (30%) of these respondents had 5-10 days left over and one in ten had more than 10 days to take.

Finally, the research highlighted the potential health impacts of this mounting pressure as more than a quarter (29%) of 25-34 year olds and 31% of 18-24 year olds in Scotland report finding it hard to book and manage appointments such as the dentist and doctor.

Louise Smith, Head of Intelligent Automation at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Our research shows that there are many sources of daily pressure which are impacting on Scots.

“Causes of pressure can often go unnoticed and it can be easy to dismiss certain challenges as trivial. However, we must take time to acknowledge that whilst the rise of technology allows us to innovate and bring greater ease to our lives in certain areas, it can also come with some negatives such as rising expectations of being available.

“At Royal Bank of Scotland our teams are always developing programmes and technologies that make life simpler. Whether that is using your banking app to temporarily lock all use of your credit card at those horrible moments when you think you’ve lost it, or to use our new ‘Adding accounts with other banks’ function on our app to let you see all of your banking activity in one place at the touch of a button, we’re working hard to help make life easier for customers.”

Royal Bank of Scotland is making lives easier by:

  • Adding accounts with other banks – Providing customers with the ease of aggregating their current accounts into one place, even those not held with Royal Bank. This service only allows customers to view their current account balances and transactions with their other bank.
  • Paperless mortgage applications – Now customers can take out a mortgage in days rather than weeks, from their sofa, without going into a branch. Delivering ease for customers owning a home and working to make it as painless as possible.
  • Lock and unlock your card - Royal Bank of Scotland customers can now instantly freeze a lost or stolen credit card using their mobile app. The card can also be unlocked if found, eliminating the need to wait for a replacement by post.
  • Financial Health Check – A free 20-minute conversation with a senior personal banker to help make banking easier and finances work even harder


This article is for media use only and is not a financial promotion.
Adding accounts with other banks - Only available in connection with selected UK Banks. This functionality is currently only available in the iOS app. We're working hard to make it available to customers using Android devices as soon as possible. Accounts with Other Banks is available to those who use our app. You need to be registered with your other bank for their online banking. This service allows you to view your current account balances and transactions with your other bank. You can’t make payments or transfers via our app. App available to customers with Digital Banking and a UK or international mobile number in specific countries.
Paperless mortgage applications - YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Royal Bank of Scotland mortgages available to over 18s.
Lock and unlock your card - applies to MasterCard credit cards only. If a card has been stolen it should still be reported as soon as possible to the Royal Bank of Scotland fraud team on 0370 600 0459.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1003 Scottish adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12 and 14 February 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).

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