Finding a balance between work and home life without a play on words is a work in progress. And in a world where your work can follow you everywhere, finding that balance becomes more and more difficult. The new Infographic of Family Living Today and Now Sourcing examines why it is particularly difficult for workers in the United States.
Compared to the 38 countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United States ranks 30th for work-life balance. One of the reasons it is so low is that 11.4% of Americans work 50 hours or more a week, while they spend 11.4 hours a day for leisure and personal care. On the other hand, the number one country, the Netherlands, has only 0.5% of people working long hours and spends 15.9 hours for leisure and personal care.
The issue of work-life balance seems to be more important for the millennia than for older workers. And for the small businesses that hire this group, it is essential to put in place policies that make this balance possible to keep them longer and happier.
Some of the other statistics on work-life balance
In the United States, men working full time spend 8.35 hours at work, while women work 7.84 hours. And among working adults, 33% work on average on a Saturday, a Sunday or a holiday. This has led 66 percent of full-time employees to say that they do not strongly believe that they have a balance between work and personal life. With regard to gender, the infographic states of women are more likely to say that they have a good work-life balance.
Another key data point is 24/7 technology. While employers expect answers at any time, 57% of workers say technology has ruined the modern family dinner. At the same time, 40% said that it was acceptable to answer an urgent work email at the dinner table.
What is the problem?
Not being balanced at home and at work has both short- and long-term negative consequences. The short-term impact on the home was underlined by 50% saying there was less time for family and friends and that 40% had wasted their time with the family. In the workplace, 60% experienced poor morale, 36 reported low productivity and 41% of them said that there was a high rate of turnover and burnout or of fatigue
The long-term effects were more disturbing because they relate to the health of employees. Those who work more than 55 hours a week are at a higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. If that was not enough, their risk of depression and anxiety was 1.66 and 1.74 times higher than among those who worked between 35 and 40 hours.
The Meaning of Balance Between Work and Privacy
Everyone has a different definition of what work-life balance means. The important thing to remember is to find the balance that suits you. For small business owners, who are known to work long hours in and out of the office, it means hiring the best people and deploying the right technology to run your business. This will allow you to devote more hours to your hobbies and personal care.
You can see the rest of the data in this very informative infographic below.
Images: Family Living Today / Now Sourcing