Balance is important in work and other essential areas of life, such as relationships, personal development, relaxation, exercise and more. But how do you attain work-life balance?
Ideally, work-life balance is the absence of conflict between work and other life roles. It is an arrangement that allows both factors to operate together seamlessly. Both the employer and the employee should put in some effort for the employee's personal life not to be sacrificed for work efficiency. Work-life balance statistics show that lots of people suffer from disbalance between their work and personal life.
Since the concept was first identified in the late 1970s, it has evolved into a metric for employee wellness. So what do employee work-life balance statistics say about the issues that workers face today?
Must Know Work-Life Balance Statistics in 2021
- 94% of service professionals spend over 50 hours working each week. (Harvard Business Review)
- Millennials will form 75% of the workforce by 2025. (Forbes)
- 80% of Baby Boomers report that they are stressed. (Huffington Post)
- About 190 billion dollars per year is spent to address the psychological and physical effects of burnout. (Harvard Business Review)
- 66% of workers feel they do not have work-life balance in their lives. (Smallbiz Trends)
- Only 23% of companies believe they are promoting work-life balance. (Deloitte)
- 83% of Millennials and Gen Zers feel they do not have work-life balance. (Future Workplace)
- 79% of employees believe flexibility promotes work-life balance. (Flex Jobs)
- Companies that promote work-life balance record two times more productivity than those that do not. (Deloitte)
- 72% of respondents consider work-life balance an important factor for selecting a job. (Statista)
- Workers spend 40.1% of their day multitasking. (Forbes)
Workplace Statistics in the United States of America
Americans are spending a huge number of hours at work, according to 2019 work-life balance statistics. However, it is important to consider how much of those hours are used effectively, and how the number of working hours affects the wellbeing of employees, their relationships with their families and friends, and their personal development.
The following statistics explain the situation with work-life balance among employees in America, and how it affects the employees:
1. 94% of service professionals spend over 50 hours working each week.
Americans spend a higher percentage of time at work than workers in most of the other countries. The average working time for most people is eight hours during the weekdays, summing up to 40 hours per week, but Americans work more hours. Americans work 137 more hours annually than the Japanese, 260 more hours annually than the British, and 499 more hours annually than the French. (International Labour Organization)
Moreover, Americans don’t only work during weekdays, but often continue their work over the weekend, reducing to a large extent the time they spend on other activities. The high number of hours spent at work decimates the time spent on rest, exercise and more.
As stated earlier, a high percentage of Americans work on weekends at a rate that is higher than in most countries. Weekends are generally perceived as a period of rest, but a work rate of 31% on weekends makes it clear that it is not so for many Americans. (Bureau of Labour Statistics)
When the number of hours spent at work is added to the time spent in transit, it becomes clear that there is very little time left to engage in physical activity, prepare and enjoy nourishing meals and build healthy relationships.
Furthermore, excess working hours lead to stress build-up. Excess working hours, as these employee work-life balance statistics point out, make for a deficient work-life balance. Employees do not feel appreciated, despite putting in more time.
Importance of Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is essential for productivity, fulfillment, and efficiency. An employee who is unable to create an optimal relationship between his life and work will suffer because of it, whereas employers that are not concerned about the welfare of their employees might squeeze out more efforts and time, but less productivity. We’ll use some 2019 employee work-life balance statistics to explain how important work-life balance is for Millennials and members of other generations.
2. 72% of respondents consider the work-life balance an important factor for selecting a job.
Work-life balance is so important that it plays a vital role in the sourcing for a job. Everyone prefers a fulfilling job. Employers, therefore, need to factor in work-life balance as an important duty of their human resources management team, as it determines how the company is assessed by prospective employees.
3. 80% of Baby Boomers report that they are stressed.
Most employees have no choice, however, and they generally continue enduring poor work-life balance like generations before them.
Stress is a major reason why people quit their jobs, as numerous employee turnover statistics suggest.
4. 83% of Millennials and Gen Zers feel they do not have work-life balance.
Stress is a common word in the vocabulary of an average American employee because of how prevalent it is in the employment sphere. Stress results from work-life imbalance, as poor working conditions have a ripple effect on employees' standard of life. It is important to respond to the level of stress in America, as stress has a devastating effect on life, especially health. Stress has been linked to cardiovascular diseases, one of the most common health issues among Americans.
5. Millennials will form 75% of the workforce by 2025.
An assessment of 2019 statistics on work-life balance shows that proactive steps need to be taken to improve work-life balance. If this is not done, Millennials will continue to bear the brunt of work-life imbalance like previous generations. Millennials could even have their stress compounded, as it is now more stressful than ever to go through college, pay off the debts acquired over the years at college, and enter a frustrating work environment.
Work-Life Balance Statistics 2021
Perfect work-life balance is very rare. Very few people believe that they maintain balance between their work and personal life, and many people report being unhappy at work. Work-life balance is not an issue restricted to a certain gender or race. It cuts across all classes of American employees. The following work-life balance statistics portray factors contributing to work-life imbalance in 2020, as well as some of the negative effects of work-life imbalance.
6.66% of workers feel they do not have work-life balance in their lives.
A large percentage of employees report that their work-life imbalance is a problem for them. They do not have the resources, time and tools necessary to create an optimal relationship between their lives and their work. Over a quarter of work is done outside of normal working hours. For example, the working day starts before 8:30 AM for 28% of workers and before 7 AM for 5% of workers. The quantity and quality of time available for other activities is reduced by working outside of working hours. In this way work interferes with people's lives.
7. Workers spend 40.1% of their day multitasking.
Another factor that contributes to the disruption of work-life balance and causes stress at the workplace is multitasking. Several hours are spent on official and unofficial communication, and other tasks during working hours, contributing to prolonged working hours and inefficiency.
8. About 190 billion dollars per year is spent to address the psychological and physical effects of burnout.
This is the direct result of work-life imbalance. Not only do employees miss out on better lives, but companies also lose employee productivity. A huge amount of money is spent on the physical and mental health of employees.
The huge sum mentioned in the statistics doesn’t show the entire cost of poor work-life balance, though. Overworked employees do not manage to spend enough quality time with their families and friends, whose interests get neglected in favour of work. The effects borne by the family, especially children, and friends of the employees with poor work-life balance are too broad and numerous to be covered by work-life balance statistics.
Furthermore, work-life imbalance causes employee burnout. Workers have lower motivation, display poorer attitude, and are unhappier when they cannot find balance between their work and their lives.
Benefits of Work-Life Balance
9. 79% of employees believe flexibility promotes work-life balance.
Customers might be first, but it should never be to the detriment of the employees. A large number of employees believe that flexibility will help improve work-life balance.
10. Companies that promote work-life balance record two times more productivity than those that do not.
Work-life balance effects on productivity statistics show that companies can double employee output by facilitating flexibility. Employees can also have more fulfilling lives and work experiences when they have flexible working arrangements. Flexible work hours improve employee productivity by adjusting their work and helping them to balance it with their physical, mental and emotional health and demands.
According to these workplace wellness stats, an excellent work-life balance increases productivity by at least two times.
11. 23% of companies believe they are promoting work-life balance.
Despite this, only 23% of companies claim they promote work-life balance. More companies need to promote work-life balance by setting up arrangements that are employee-friendly.
Which Country Has the Best Work-Life Balance?
12. The Netherlands has the best work-life balance according to statistics.
(Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)
The Netherlands is ranked as the country with the best work-life balance. Only 0.5% of employees work long hours, as opposed to the overall average of 13%, as reported by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).