Finding a work-life balance, no pun intended, is a work in progress. And in a world where your work can follow you anywhere, finding this balance is becoming increasingly more difficult. The new infographic from Family Living Today and Now Sourcing looks at why it is especially hard for workers in the US.
Compared to the 38 countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the US comes in at number 30 for work-life balance. A couple of the reasons it is so low is because 11.4 percent of Americans work 50 or more hours per week, while they spend 11.4 hours for leisure and personal care daily. The number one country, Netherlands, on the other hand, has only 0.5 percent of people working those long hours and they dedicate 15.9 hours for leisure and personal care.
The issue of work-life balance seems to be more important for millennials than it is for older workers. And for small businesses hiring this group, having policies in place which make this balance possible is key to keeping them employed longer and happier.
Some of the Other Work-Life Balance Statistics
In the US, full-time working men spend 8.35 hours in the workplace, while women work 7.84 hours. And of the employed adults, 33 percent work on an average Saturday, Sunday, or holiday. This has led 66 percent of full-time employees to say they don’t strongly believe they have a work-life balance. When it comes to gender, the infographic states women are more likely to say they have a good work-life balance.
Another key data point is 24/7 technology. With employers expecting responses at any hour, 57 percent of workers said technology has ruined the modern day family dinner. At the same time, 40 percent said it was OK to answer an urgent work email at the dinner table.
What is the Downside?
Not being balanced in the home and workplace has some negative short and long-term consequences. The short-term impact for the home was highlighted by 50 percent saying there was less time for family and friends and 40 percent had the time they spend with the family ruined. In the workplace, 60 percent experienced poor morale, 36 reported poor productivity and there was an equal share of 41 percent who said there was high turnover and burnout/fatigue.
The long-term effects were more worrying, as they relate to the health of employees. Those working more than 55 hours per week are at a higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. If that wasn’t bad enough, their risk for depression and anxiety was 1.66 and 1.74 times higher compared to those working 35-40 hours.
The Meaning of Work-Life Balance
Everyone has a different definition of what work-life balance means to them. The important thing to remember is finding the balance that is right for you. For small business owners, who are notorious for working long hours in and out of the office, it means hiring the best people and deploying the right technology to manage your company. This will allow you to dedicate more hours to your leisure and personal care.
You can see the rest of the data in this highly informative infographic below.
Images: Family Living Today/Now Sourcing