This past year threw traditional work-life balance for a loop. When much of the workforce began working from home during the pandemic, it became harder than ever to separate job responsibilities and family duties.
Especially, the new generation found it difficult to manage a good balance between their private and work life.
When do you stop working if you never leave the “home office” and never punch out?
Returning to the office after a long break presents its own challenges. How do you re-establish a healthy work-life balance? How have your personal priorities changed post-pandemic?
Let’s see what the most recent numbers say about work-life balance.
Work-Life Balance Stats & Facts - United States
Americans are stressed at work. Around half of the workforce feels it needs help with stress management and one-quarter of employees say they’re approaching job burnout.
- 56% of employee burnout is caused by a negative work culture and is to blame for 20-50% of turnover. (Forbes)
- 95% of human resources professionals blamed the loss of good employees on job burnout.
- HR leaders said the barriers to ridding the workplace of burnout include too many competing priorities (20%), a lack of executive support (14%) and outmoded HR technology (20%).
- 16% of HR leaders say a lack of budget is the primary obstacle to improving employee retention in the next 12 months. (Forbes)
- 46% of HR leaders say burnout is behind up to half of their annual employee turnover.
- 14% of HR leaders say lack of executive support is an additional obstacle to improving retention in 2017; 13% cite a lack of organizational vision. (Forbes)
- 15% of HR leaders say a lack of funding is the biggest challenge to improving employee engagement. (Forbes)
- 95% of human resource leaders admit employee burnout is sabotaging workforce retention
- 41% of burnout is caused by unfair pay, 32% is caused by unreasonable workload and 32% is caused by too much overtime. (Forbes)
- 90% of human resource leaders cite improving retention is a critical priority to avoid the repercussions of employee loss. (Forbes)
- 87% of employers believe improving retention to be a critical priority in their organizations over the next five years. (Forbes)
- 33% of workers cite work-life balance as an important aspect of their jobs. (Fingerprint For Success)
- 51% of workers say they have missed important life events because of work commitments. (Fingerprint For Success)
- 11% of employees feel they are overworked. (CompareCamp)
- 26% of salaried employees say they work outside business hours, (TeamStage)
- Generally, 43% of the workforce is made up of remote workers in some capacity.
- 70% of employees will read their emails while watching television at home.
- 40% of employees say they use their personal devices for work purposes after business hours. (TeamStage)
- 67% of people say their work-life balance improved once they began working remotely. (Fingerprint For Success)
- 97% say a job with flexibility has a major positive impact on overall happiness. (Fingerprint For Success)
- The typical American worker logged 34.6 hours per week in 2020. (Statista)
- Those in US mining or logging jobs worked an average of 44.8 hours per week. (Statista)
- American employees log 3.9 billion hours per month. (Statista)
- According to EY, "Finding time for me" was the most prevalent challenge faced by U.S. millennial parents who were managers, followed by "getting enough sleep" and "managing personal and professional life".
- According to the same research, millennials are almost twice as likely to have a spouse or partner working full-time than Baby Boomers (78% vs. 47%).
- 83% of U.S millennials said they'd be more likely to join the company that offered paternity leave, and 38% said they'd leave the United States for another country to get this benefit.
Striking the right balance between work, sleep, and leisure time can be challenging!
Work-life balance of Americans during COVID-19
- 50% of employees say they worked the same or more hours during the COVID-19 pandemic. (UKG)
- Mobile technology allows nearly 53% of employees to work from home. (First Psychology)
- 33% of employees say they trust their company more because of how it responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. (UKG)
- 65% of employees who now work from home because of COVID-19 say they are working longer hours. (Fingerprint For Success)
How Americans spend their leisure time
- In 2006, the average American watched 2.5 hours of television per day. (Time)
- For every hour of leisure time gained, 30-minutes was spent watching television. (Time)
- 75% of Americans spend an average of 4-5 hours per day on their smartphones. (Statista)
- In 2019-20
- , Americans spent an average of 145 minutes per day using social media. (Statista)
- Americans spend an average of 100 days per year online. (TheNextWeb)
What's the only thing we love more than watching television? Playing with our smartphones.
☝ Did you know?
The perfect work-life balance would include eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep, and eight hours of leisure time (although this concept is slowly getting outdated).
But nothing is perfect.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conducted a Better Life Index study which found that American workers typically spend 14.4 hours per week on sleep and leisure time. We’re already an hour and 20 minutes behind the perfect work-life balance!
Work-Life Balance Across The Globe
- The Netherlands scored highest in happiness with a score out of 9.5 out of 10.
- Only 0.4% of employees in the Netherlands report working long hours.
- 69.9% of females in the Netherlands are employed.
- Families in the Netherlands spend an average of 16.1 hours on leisure activities.
- Italy scored 9.4 on the Better Life Index, followed by Denmark with a score of 9.0, Spain with an 8.8, and France with a score of 8.7.
- Turkey works the hardest, with nearly one-third of employees putting in more than 50 hours per week.
- According to EY, about 49% of the survey respondents in Germany said work-life balance is becoming more difficult to manage.
- 28.7% of employees in Mexico claim they work long hours.
- Workers in Mexico claim they only spend 12.4 hours per day on leisure activities, including sleeping.
- 25.5% of employees in Colombia feel they work long hours.
- 25.2% of South Korean employees feel overworked.
- The United States placed 30th out of 38 countries in the Better Life Index study. (TeamStage)
- An average of 11% of workers around the world reported working 50 hours or more per week.
- According to EY, half of the workers are working more than 40 hours per week (survey results of 9700 employees).
- The average worker around the world spends roughly 63% of their day, or 15 hours, on sleep and leisure time.
- The average worker in the United States spends only 60% of their day, or 14.4 hours, on sleep and leisure activities.
- Men and women spend an equal amount of leisure time.
- 67% of men (compared to 57% of women) have changed their jobs to better manage work and family lives. (EY)
- According to the same research, some of the top reasons why employees leave their jobs are minimal wage growth and a workplace that doesn’t allow for flexibility. (EY)
- Working flexibly and without penalty ranked the third-highest priority (after pay and benefits) for millennials around the world. (EY)
- About one-third of professionals reported that today it is harder to achieve work-life balance than ever before. (EY)
- It was found that working parents are among those who have the hardest time managing work and home life. (EY)
- The older groups of millennials (40+ years old) generally put a higher value on paid parental leave than previous generations. (EY)
(Statistics from OECD except where noted.)
Top 10 Companies with the Best Work-Life Balance
According to this Glassdoor study, the following companies earned high marks for work-life balance programs. (Scores from 0-to-5.)
- Bombas - 4.9
- 23andMe - 4.8
- Zoom Video Communications - 4.7
- Greenhouse Software - 4.7
- CB Insights - 4.5
- Ultimate Software - 4.4
- Pipedrive - 4.5
- Lyft - 4.1
- Patagonia - 4.1
- Etsy - 4.0
Benefits of Work-Life Balance
Live your best life by properly balancing your work and leisure time!
- Companies that offer a good work-life balance have 25% less employee turnover.
- 85% of companies that offer work-life balance programs for their employees report an increase in productivity.
- 24% of people who work from home at least one day a month report they are happier and more productive.
- 21% of workers with a good work-life balance are more productive.
- Offering remote work programs could lead to a 13% productivity increase for your business.
- 33% of employees who have a good work-life balance say they plan to stay in their current jobs.
- Companies with good work-life balance programs have 50% fewer healthcare costs.
(Statistics from CompareCamp)
Work-Life Balance vs. Work-Life Negotiation
Dr. Chris Mullen, Ph.D. writes in Forbes that the concept of work-life balance may be outdated.
Instead, Mullen pushes for “work-life negotiation” which reassess the goals of your workforce and empowers workers to find an individual path to work vs. non-work time.
It ultimately comes down to good time management.
Getting your work tasks completed and still having enough time for your life responsibilities and leisure time. The key to good time management is prioritizing and making time for what’s important.
Work has to be near the top of the list, but things like family, friends, and you are equally — if not more — important.