- Three-quarters of workers in a new Robert Half poll said they're achieving "good" to "excellent" work-life balance. According to the survey, "Do you live to work or work to live?", workers who are finding balance between their jobs and personal lives are twice as happy, more productive and show greater loyalty to their employers than those struggling to find balance.
- Survey results also found regional differences in achieving home-life balance: professionals in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco scored the highest in achieving work-life balance, while those in Nashville, Denver, Atlanta, Cincinnati, San Diego and Raleigh scored the lowest.
- Of the 2,800 employees in the survey, 39% said employers were responsible for creating work-life balance. But 26% of business leaders cited work-life balance as employees' concern in a separate survey, RH said.
It may be no surprise that happiness grows when stress shrinks. But achieving that balance isn't always easy; even workers who do not grapple with the pressures of caretaking duties, for example, feel the strain caused by a lack of work-life balance, according to a study by the University of Michigan and California State University Channel Islands.
A significant portion of business leaders think work-life balance is a responsibility that belongs to employees, but management sets the tone and expectations for workers and their performance. For example, the same U of M and Cal State U study found that 40% of respondents said they felt they couldn't get ahead if they asked their managers for time off. Their companies' cultures required they pledge their allegiance to their jobs, at the expense of their personal lives.
When companies support work-life balance, however, business often benefits as much as the employees do. Employees who take a week or more of vacation, for example, are more likely to say they're driven to contribute to their organization's success than workers who don't take vacation. And when organizations give employees and job seekers flexibility, they attract and retain more talent, as shown in a Hiring Lab report. Some employment specialists envision flexible work options becoming a "default" benefit.
In today's labor market, job seekers routinely look for prospective employers who offer flexible work options. The key may be creating a culture in which requesting time off, as well as avoiding 24/7 electronic connection to the workplace, is encouraged, even expected, of employees.