Are You Achieving a Work-Life Balance? Not Even Close

work life balance

Americans spend a significant amount of time working and looking at screens, but the majority don’t take enough time off.

Are You Achieving a Work-Life Balance? Not Even Close

Over the course of their lifetime, Americans spend, on average, 13.2 years working, and just 328 days socializing.

The average worker in the US spends 5.3 hours per week checking work emails at home.

These statistics that show Americans work much harder than they play, were unveiled by an infographic by BookOutdoors, an organization dedicated to inspiring and enabling everyone, everywhere to experience the job, wonder and adventure of the outdoors.

‘Outdoor Exploration For All’ infographic

The ‘Outdoor Exploration For All’ infographic shows that 28 million Americans don’t get any paid vacation or paid holidays. For those who do get paid vacation leave, 55% of employees don’t use it all.

Why Employees are Failing to Take Time Off

The research also uncovered why workers are failing to take time off for holidays. It found that 61% fear appearing replaceable at work, while 56% have a heavy workload and/or have a lack of coverage.  Stress is another primary reason people don’t take time off, alongside concerns about safety and security, and the cost of taking a vacation.

Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors

BookOutdoor’s research explores the benefits of spending time outdoors. Spending just 20 minutes outdoors, three days a week may reduce stress, improve memory, boost cognitive function, and enhance overall wellbeing.

Other benefits of spending time outdoors include balancing our modern, connected lives, reconnecting with nature, and bringing opportunities to try new physical activities.

The advantages of a healthier work/life balance are well documented and established. For employers, encouraging workers to take time off, use up their holiday pay, and spend time outdoors, can lead to a happier, more productive workforce.

Despite the well-known benefits, BookOutdoor’s confirms that most Americans are not achieving a healthy work/life balance.

To help maintain a happier more productive workforce, small business owners should make an effort to ensure employees take valuable time off. Being known as a business that looks after its employees will also help employers attract and retain talent.

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".