With stress in the economy and the ever increasing push to do more with less as there are fewer jobs in the American economy now than there were four years ago, work life balance is more difficult than ever to achieve. And while there are still great examples of family-friendly workplaces around, more and more employers seem to be scrapping some of those benefits due to declining revenues.
These statistics can help all of us see the need for greater work life balance and the cost of less flexibility in workplaces and more work-based demands on fathers and families.
How Workers Feel About Work-Life Balance
- Among the 89 percent of Americans who say work/life balance is a problem, 54 percent called it a "significant" problem.
- 57 percent of workers think that their employer is doing enough to address work/life balance issues; 43 percent do not.
- 51 percent of workers say their work/life balance has not changed because of the recession.
- 38 percent of workers say their work/life balance has worsened because of the recession.
- 37 percent of those who do not have adequate balance say time with family is the first thing that suffers; personal time spent reading or relaxing followed, at 22 percent.
- 44 percent of men ages 34-54 say they do not have adequate work/life balance.
- 30% of employees often or very often feel burned out or stressed by their jobs, 27% feel emotionally drained from their work, and 42% feel used up at the end of the work day.
Time Spent at WorkWorkers are spending more time at work today than they did a generation ago. The typical American middle-income family worked an average of 11 more hours per week in 2009 than in 1979. Around 40 percent of professional men work more than 50 hours per week but 80 percent of these men reported wanting shorter hours.
Of 800 senior executives surveyed,
- 73% are often required to work between 6pm and 9pm and 63% are often required to work weekends.
- 70% believe that a modern lifestyle (e.g. blackberry and Internet) has decreased their leisure time.
- Only 35% of executives take advantage of their allotted paid time off every year.
Source: The Myth of Work Life Balance
Incidence of Feeling OverworkedOf American workers surveyed:
- 54% felt overworked at least sometimes in the past three months;
- 55% felt overwhelmed by how much work they had to do at least sometimes in the past three months; and
- 59% felt they did not have time to step back and process or reflect on the work they were doing at least sometimes in the past three months.
Employees who work more paid and unpaid hours per week at their main/only jobs feel more overworked: On average, employees work 41.2 hours per week; 45% of employees working 50 or more hours per week experience high levels of feeling overworked versus only 6% of those working fewer than 20 hours per week.
Employees who believe they cannot change their work schedule so that they can work the hours or days they prefer feel more overworked: 45% of those who say they cannot change their work schedules to be able to work their preferred hours experience high levels of feeling overworked versus 33% of those who can change their work schedules.
Employees who have more difficulty focusing at work feel much more overworked. For example, 45% of employees feel that they have to multi-task too much (often or very often). And 56% of those who often or very often "work on too many tasks at the same time" experience high levels of feeling overworked versus only 16% who report that they sometimes, rarely or never work on too many tasks.
Four in ten employees (41%) often or very often use technology (cellular/mobile phones, beepers, pagers, computers, email, fax) for their jobs during typical nonwork hours or days, and those who use technology more frequently feel more overworked: 38% of employees who say they often or very often use technology for their jobs during nonwork time experience high levels of feeling overworked versus 29% of employees who rarely or never use technology for their jobs during nonwork time.
Employees who are more accessible (by whatever means) to their employers during nonwork hours and days feel more overworked: 41% of those who say they have to be accessible to their employers often or very often during nonwork time report high levels of feeling overworked versus 31% of those who rarely or never have to be accessible.
The Impact of Poor Work Life Balance for EmployersThe more overworked employees feel:
- The more likely they are to report making mistakes at work: 17% of employees reporting high levels of feeling overworked say they make mistakes at work often or very often versus only 1% of those who experience low levels of feeling overworked
- The more likely they are to feel angry toward their employers for expecting them to do so much: 43% of employees experiencing high levels of feeling overworked say they feel angry toward their employers often or very often versus only 3% who experience low levels.
- The more likely they are to resent coworkers who do not work as hard as they do.
- The more likely they are to look for a new job with another employer: Almost half of employees experiencing high levels of feeling overworked say it is somewhat or very likely that they will seek employment elsewhere in the comingyear versus only 30% who report low levels of feeling overworked.
The Impact of Poor Work Life Balance for the Employee and His FamilyThe more overworked employees feel:
- The more work-life conflict they experience- conflict that may have negative effects on both family and work.
- The less successful they feel in relationships with their spouse or partner, children and friends.
- The more likely they are to be neglecting themselves: Only 41% of employees who experience high levels of feeling overworked say they are very or extremely successful in taking good care of themselves versus 66% of those reporting low levels of feeling overworked.
- The more likely they are to lose sleep because of their work.
- The less likely they are to report that their health is very good or excellent: 50% of employees experiencing high levels of feeling overworked describe their health as very good or excellent versus 64% of those reporting low levels of feeling overworked.
- The higher their levels of stress and the poorer their abilities to cope with everyday life events.