Work-Life Balance: Statistics & Facts
How important is work-life balance to you? Would you accept less money for a position that guarantees a healthier balance between your work and private life?
People around the world are becoming more and more aware of the importance of maintaining a healthier work attitude.
Thus, in this article, we’re bringing you essential work-life balance stats to showcase just how crucial work-life balance is in these times!
What is work-life balance?
Greenhaus and Allen (2006) defined work-life balance as "the degree to which an individual's effectiveness and satisfaction in the roles of work and family domain are well-matched with the individual's life priorities."
Simply put, work-life balance is the ability to separate work from personal life.
Apart from being able to keep your personal and work life separate, having a good work-life balance also entails that you're able to:
- Properly allocate your resources, such as time or energy,
- Manage your emotions, and
- Realistically assess your role at work or home.
What is the quality of work life?
Nazir, Qureshi, and Shafaat (2011) defined the quality of work life (work-life quality) as "a combination of strategies, procedures, and ambiance related to a workplace that altogether, enhance and sustain the employee satisfaction by aiming at improving work conditions for the employees of the organizations."
This term goes hand in hand with work-life balance.
Throughout decades, personal growth and motivation have been at the core of the quality of work life definitions, as it is believed that an organization is most successful when employees are satisfied with their jobs.
10 Most important work-life balance statistics
Take a look at 10 crucial work-life balance statistics that showcase its importance for workers worldwide:
- 94% of employees think work-life balance is important.
- 78% of people believe they have a good work-life balance.
- 61% of workers wouldn't accept a job that disrupts their work-life equilibrium.
- 56% of people claim no amount of money would make them sacrifice their work-life balance.
- 87% of US employees believe remote working arrangements contributed to their improved work-life balance.
- 77% of Baby Boomers are content with their work-life balance.
- 63% of Gen X are happy with the balance between work and private life.
- One-third of Millennials and Gen Z are satisfied with their work-life balance.
- 24% of Gen Zs believe flexible working hours help them achieve better work-life balance.
- 71% of employees state that work-life balance is an important factor when searching for a new job.
The importance and benefits of work-life balance
Work-life balance affects both employees' performance and their wellbeing.
Find out more about:
- How important workers believe achieving this balance is,
- The main benefits of work-life balance, as well as
- The number of people who continue to struggle with striking that perfect balance between work and life.
What percentage of people value a work-life balance?
The state of work-life balance around the world was explored in a 2023 report by Randstad. The research aimed to examine how highly employees value work-life balance.
The report showed that 78% of workers say they have a good work-life balance.
According to Randstad's findings:
- 94% of employees believe work-life balance is important,
- 61% of people would not accept a job if it disrupted their work-life balance, and
- 48% of survey respondents would quit their jobs if it prevented them from "enjoying their life."
Moreover, 2023 research by The Muse found that work-life balance is crucial for most workers.
The survey first explored the ways people describe work-life balance. It provides insight into what's important to employees regarding the relationship between their private lives and the workplace.
According to 51% of respondents, work-life balance means "having the flexibility and autonomy to pivot to personal needs when they arise during a workday or week."
The second-most popular answer for the work-life balance definition, chosen by 23% of employees, was "the amount of time I spend at work/job does not interfere with the amount of time spent on my personal life."
The survey further found that 83% of survey participants would take a job that pays less if the job provided them with a better work-life balance.
In addition, 56% of respondents value work-life balance so much that no amount of raise would get them to sacrifice their work-life balance.
What are the main benefits of a good work-life balance?
In a 2022 research published in Frontiers Psychology, work-life balance is shown to have immense benefits for employees. This study found that balance between work and private life has a positive effect on:
- Job performance, and
- Job satisfaction.
The study also indicated that poor work-life balance leads to:
- Reduced productivity, and
- Poor employee performance.
Moreover, a recent study from the National Library of Medicine listed the following benefits of learning how to balance work and life:
- Better job performance,
- Higher job satisfaction,
- Increased organizational commitment, and
- Higher life and family satisfaction.
In addition, the same study has shown that work-life balance lowered the chances of suffering from dangerous consequences of stress, such as:
- Emotional exhaustion,
- Anxiety, and
How many people are struggling with work-life balance?
Another report from 2023, the CIPD Good Work Index, explored how work affects the personal lives of UK workers:
- 25% of CIPD survey respondents claim they find it hard to meet personal commitments due to work. On the other hand, 54% of workers don't have the same issue.
- The majority of survey respondents, 54%, claim work makes it difficult for them to relax. On the upside, 26% of employees don't have any issues relaxing due to work stress.
Thus, despite being valued by the majority of employees, many people around the world are still struggling to achieve work-life balance.
Statistics on how different types of work settings affect work-life balance
Your work-life balance is highly dependent on your work environment. That's why we will evaluate what work-life balance looks like in the following scenarios:
- A remote work environment,
- An on-site setting, and
- A flexible work setting.
Flexible working implies that you set your own work hours, and you get to choose where you will do your tasks — in the office, at home, or anywhere else.
On the other hand, working remotely means having the option to choose your work location (home office, library, coworking space). Work hours can be fixed or flexible, depending on the company's policy.
Statistics on the effects of remote work on work-life balance
Since 52% of job applicants look for remote work job listings, you might be wondering how remote work affects employees' work-life balance.
Well, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York's analysis claims Americans save 60 million hours of commute time each day thanks to distance working! That time is allocated toward activities such as sleeping, socializing, exercising, doing house chores, and similar.
Moreover, a FlexJobs survey from 2022 has shown that as many as 87% of US employees believe remote working arrangements contributed to their improved work-life balance. That is probably why 65% of workers want a fully remote working arrangement.
What's more, 57% of surveyed employees claim they would search for a new job if their current one did not offer a remote working option.
On the other hand, Microsoft's Work Trend Index report has come out with slightly different findings. This report explored the effects of the pandemic and remote working on employees from eight countries (Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, India, Singapore, the UK, and the US).
According to Microsoft's report, surveyed employees struggled to find a clear separation between work and life. The main issues found in the survey were:
- The number of Microsoft Teams users who sent after-hours chats has doubled,
- There was a 69% growth in the number of chats per person, after hours, and
- The number of meetings and calls per week increased by 55%.
So, considering both the negative and positive effects of remote working, keeping in mind employees' well-being before shifting to a remote-first work model could be a contributing factor to employees' work-life balance.
Flexible vs. non-flexible working
When it comes to benefits that both flexible and non-flexible workplaces have to offer — numbers are certainly in favor of flexible work arrangements.
Namely, 9 in 10 people whose work can be performed remotely want a fully remote or a hybrid working arrangement, according to a Gallup poll from 2022. Moreover, 60% of surveyed employees claim they would be likely to look for a new job if their current one didn't offer flexible working options.
Recent research on agile work strategies showed that 35-40% of workers with flexible work settings are more productive than in-office employees.
What's more, more than two-thirds of employers who participated in this study reported increased productivity in employees who telecommute.
Based on FlexJobs's research from 2022 we mentioned earlier, 35% of employees would prefer a hybrid workplace completely. On the other hand, 3% of the respondents said they wanted to work from the office.
In addition, FlexJobs 2020 research showed that workers with flexible working options:
- Have a better work-life balance, and
- Are less affected by their bosses' work-life balance habits.
This chart created from the FlexJobs research data shows the main differences in responses for employees with and without flexible job options.
As the chart clearly shows, a flexible work schedule:
- Increases work-life balance, and
- Decreases stress levels.
Statistics on work-life balance and different generations
Let's examine what work-life balance means to four different generations:
- Baby Boomers (born between 1945 and 1960),
- Gen X (born between 1961 and 1980),
- Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996), and
- Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012).
Baby Boomers and work-life balance
According to a survey by CommericalCafe, Baby Boomers are the generation most satisfied with their work-life balance.
Namely, 77% of respondents in this age group are content with their work-life balance.
When it comes to the effects of the pandemic on their work and life balance:
- 47% of Baby Boomers believe the pandemic improved their work-life balance,
- 37% of Baby Boomers didn't see a change, and
- 17% of Baby Boomers saw negative effects on their work-life balance.
Gen X and work-life balance
The same CommericalCafe survey shows that Gen X is the second most satisfied with their work-life balance. Specifically, 63% of respondents belonging to this generation are happy with the balance between work and private life.
Furthermore, 77% of Gen X claim that the option to work remotely has helped them achieve work-life balance. On the other hand, 31% of the respondents from this age group believe the pandemic had a negative impact on their work-life equilibrium.
Millennials and work-life balance
The latest Deloitte report shows that only 31% of Millennials are very satisfied with their work-life balance. Thus, it comes as no surprise that work-life balance is a crucial factor that Millennials consider when looking for a new job.
In addition, having a good work-life balance is a top trait this age group values in their colleagues.
Moreover, 28% of Millennials praised remote and hybrid work arrangements as they allowed them to achieve better work-life balance by spending more time with family and friends.
Generation Z and work-life balance
The abovementioned 2023 Deloitte report showcased similarities between Millennials and Gen Z regarding work-life balance satisfaction. This report showed that only 34% of Gen Z respondents are highly satisfied with their work-life balance.
Improving their work-life balance is among Gen Z's top priorities. According to 33% of Gen Z respondents, this can be achieved by implementing four-day work weeks.
Furthermore, 24% of Gen Zs believe having flexible working hours would help them achieve better work-life balance.
The link between work-life balance and employee turnover
Work-life balance affects job satisfaction. But, do companies with work-life imbalance have a higher employee turnover? How much do people value work-life equilibrium in job searching?
Let's find out.
Importance of work-life balance in job searching
As many as 71% of employees believe work-life balance is an important factor when searching for a new job, recent Muse findings show.
Women value work-life balance more, as 76% of female Muse survey participants are mindful of work-life balance in a potential workplace — compared to 65% of men.
Furthermore, this survey shows that workers believe work-life balance is more important than:
- Perks and benefits, and
- Learning and growth opportunities.
Work-life quality and employee turnover intentions
A 2022 study called "Working to leave or living to work?" provided us with some insight into the relationship between work-life quality and employee turnover intentions.
This research explored turnover intentions among workers by examining the states of different factors contributing to the quality of work life, such as:
- Manager supervision, and
- Working environment.
The study found that all of these aspects directly affect workers' turnover intentions. Namely, low compensation, poor benefits, little to no supervision, and bad working conditions increase employee turnover intentions.
As a matter of fact, this research claims the quality of work life is responsible for 17% of employee turnover intentions.
Work-life balance and employee turnover
According to a 2023 MDPI study on work-life balance, there's a significant correlation between work-life balance and employee turnover.
Namely, workers who are not happy with their work-life balance are more likely to leave their current jobs. Therefore, companies that don't value work-life equilibrium tend to struggle with high staff turnover.
Moreover, a 2020 survey published in the International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science aimed to analyze whether work-life balance can influence employee turnover.
This study evaluated Millennial generation employees from woodworking companies. The researchers chose Millennials as their participants because this generation is known for changing jobs often. Plus, one of the major factors that impact the job satisfaction of Millennial workers is work-life balance.
The findings of this study demonstrate that companies that invest in employee work-life balance can decrease employee turnover. So, when employees have a proper work-life balance, they tend to stay longer with the company.
Statistics on work-life balance around the globe
Another area we'd like to discuss in this article is how your location can impact your work-life balance. Since the average working hours per country can vary across the globe, your work-life balance might highly depend on your location.
OECD countries and work-life balance statistics
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) consists of 38 countries. You can see the list in the table below.
According to the latest official OECD numbers, an average employee spends 63% of their day on leisure and personal care. That amounts to 15 hours each day. Men and women devote about the same number of hours to personal care and leisure.
Personal care involves eating and sleeping, while leisure time includes:
- Socializing with friends and family,
- Computer and TV use,
- Games, and
Official stats also show that 10% of employees work 50 or more hours every week. Countries with alarmingly high numbers regarding 50+ working hours a week are:
- Mexico, with 27% of employees,
- Turkey, with 25%, and
- Colombia, with 24%.
In general, men work very long hours more commonly than women. According to official numbers, 14% of male workers and 6% of female employees work 50+ hours a week.
Teleworking and work-life balance in OECD countries
According to official OECD research, employees working in companies with teleworking policies report better:
- Life satisfaction,
- Work-life balance,
- Mental health, and
- Physical health.
Research shows that 79% of employees who were consulted about their company's teleworking policy are happy with their work-life balance. On the other hand, 62% of workers who weren't consulted about their company's remote work policy share the same feeling.
Thus, teleworkers in OECD countries report better work balance than those working in offices. In addition, companies consulting their employees about their ideal teleworking policies have higher levels of employee satisfaction.
Singapore and work-life balance statistics
With Singapore being one of the most overworked cities in the world, we've decided to get more details on Singaporeans' stress levels as well as how they perceive work-life balance.
Based on the latest Randstad findings, 41% of Singapore employees plan to quit their jobs in search of a better work-life balance. In fact, in 2023, work-life balance became the number 1 reason people in Singapore want to leave their jobs.
Survey respondents define work-life balance as "having enough personal time to do the things they like with the people they care about."
The same research reported the percentage of employees from different generations willing to quit their jobs in a desire to improve their work-life balance:
- 43% of Millennials,
- 41% of Gen X, and
- 39% of Gen Z.
Statistics on the highest work-life balance levels in the world
An international recruiting platform, Remote, came up with the Global Life-Work Balance Index to explore the state of work-life balance in 60 states with the highest GDP in the world.
This index examines factors essential for a good work-life balance, such as:
- Annual leave,
- Maternity and sick leave and pay,
- Minimum wage,
- Average hours worked per week,
- Inclusivity, and
- Overall happiness.
With a score of 79.35/100, New Zealand is the state with the highest level of work-life balance.
The rest of the list of the top work-life balance countries goes as follows:
- Canada, and
Research on improving work-life balance
The abovementioned MDPI study explored the benefits of work-life balance as well as what employers can do to improve it.
According to this research, the main benefits of work-life balance include:
- Job satisfaction, and
- Employee loyalty.
Thus, employers should promote a healthy workplace and work-life balance.
The same research also provided recommendations on how to achieve this. Tips include:
- Offering benefits to employees,
- Granting leave,
- Offering flexible working arrangements,
- Providing support for elderly and child care,
- Being involved in employees' social activities,
- Offering career management advice, and
- Limiting extra time worked (after regular working hours).
Conclusion: Finding a proper work-life balance is the key to leading a fulfilling life
When you're happy with your work life, your productivity and performance will thrive. As a result, your overall work life quality will be enhanced, too.
But, finding the right work-life balance is just as important as having a high-quality work life.
No matter our age, gender, or where we live, a proper work-life balance allows us to achieve a fulfilled life and should be accounted for as a social norm in every workplace!
- Agrawal, S. Wigert, B. (2022).Returning to the Office: The Current, Preferred and Future State of Remote Work. Gallup
- Bocean, G. Popescu, L. Varzaru, A. Avram, C. Iancu, A. (2023).Work-Life Balance and Employee Satisfaction during COVID-19 Pandemic. Towards Sustainable HRM: Types, Factors, Drivers and Outcomes
- Borsellino, R. (2023).Economic Uncertainty Isn't Stopping Workers From Eyeing New Jobs. The Muse
- Chapman, C. (2022).Remote work ads are disappearing
- CIPD Good Work Index 2023. (2023). CIPD
- Cruz, L. Sengco, B. Gadin, N. (2022).Working to leave or living to work?: Employees' quality work life factors and its impact on turnover intention. International Journal of Science, Technology, Education, and Management, Vol. 2
- Dam, D. Melcangi, D. Pilossoph, L. Toner-Rodgers, A. (2022).What Have Workers Done with the Time Freed up by Commuting Less?. Liberty Street Economics
- Global Workplace Analytics.Advantages of Agile Work Strategies For Companies
- Gragnano, A. Miglioretti, M. Simbula, S. (2020).Work–Life Balance: Weighing the Importance of Work–Family and Work–Health Balance. Int J Environ Res Public Health.; 17(3): 907
- Howington, J. (2022).Work-Life Balance or Better Pay? Two-Thirds Choose Balance. FlexJobs
- Hussain Bhat, Z. Yousuf, U. Saba, N. (2023).Revolutionizing work-life balance: Unleashing the power of telecommuting on work engagement and exhaustion levels. Cogent Business & Management, Vol 10
- Isnatun, S. Riyanto, S. (2022).The Effect of Work Life Balance on Millennial Generation Turn Over Intention in the Woodworking Industry. International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science, Vol. 4, Issue 6
- Jay, R. (2020).Survey Finds Job Flexibility Significantly Improves Health, Personal Relationships. FlexJobs
- Microsoft. (2020).A pulse on employees' wellbeing, six months into the pandemic
- Ng, J. (2022).Singapore is now the fourth most overworked city in the world. Lifestyle Asia
- OECD.Our global reach
- OECD. (2023).Teleworking, workplace policies and trust: A critical relationship in the hybrid world of work.
- OECD Better Life Index.Work-Life Balance
- Oyster. (2022).The Employee Expectations
- Prasad, K. Satyaprasad, V. (2023).The Relationship between Remote Working and Work-life Balance with Mediating and Moderating Effects of Social Support: An Empirical Study of Information Technology Employees. International Journal of Organizational Leadership
- Randstad. (2023).Better work-life balance tops list of reasons Singaporeans resign: 2023 employer brand research.
- Randstad. (2023).Workmonitor 2023
- Susanto, P. Enamul Hoque, M. Jannat, T. Emely, B. Asri Zona, M. Islam, A. (2022).Work-Life Balance, Job Satisfaction, and Job Performance of SMEs Employees: The Moderating Role of Family-Supportive Supervisor Behaviors. Front. Psychol., Vol 13
- The Conference Board. (2023).Job Satisfaction 2023
- Tomb, D. (2023).Most Workers Say No Amount of Money Would Make Them Sacrifice Work-Life Balance. The Muse
- Work and Life Balance Survey Highlights Younger Generations' Workplace Woes. (2022). CommercialCafe