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Work-life balance statistics: key numbers to be aware of


July 4, 2024


July 4, 2024

Finding a healthy balance between work and personal life isn’t easy, but it is one of the top priorities of most employees, especially Millennials and Gen Z. How much does work-life balance (WLB) matter for workers? How many people consider they’ve achieved this goal? The following work-life balance statistics give you a better sense of this crucial topic. Understanding what is at stake when people can’t reach this equilibrium is essential for all organizations. Willing to have more time and energy for ourselves and our loved ones is not a question of “having it all.” Your team members’ mental health and well-being directly impact their engagement, performance, and loyalty regarding work.

Flexible working practices have significantly enabled a better work-life balance over the last couple of years. Stay tuned; we will talk more about the solutions and approaches to enhance this lifestyle at the end of this post.

What do the latest work-balance statistics reveal?

Work-life balance is one of the top three priorities for employees

What matters the most for your staff? Here are the top three priorities for workers today, according to the World Economic Forum:

  1. Job security.
  2. Work-life balance.
  3. Unretirement.

work life balance

Right after job security comes work-life balance. We could call it “health security,” as the ability to balance professional and private life plays a crucial part in being physically and mentally healthy. A good work-life balance gives team members more time to share moments with their families and their friends, do sports, cook homemade meals, take care of themselves, etc. 61% of people would reject a job offer if it would negatively impact this aspect and 48% would quit their position if work responsibilities would prevent them from “enjoying their lives”.1

More than half of candidates consider work-life balance when choosing a job

Work-life balance is the second most important aspect for workers, but how does it impact the labor market? 57% of job applicants declare that not being able to have a healthy work-life balance is a deal-breaker.2 This is a valuable insight for HR managers and companies planning to attract new talent. Not supporting initiatives encouraging people to balance their professional and personal lives better is a no-go for job candidates. Understanding this is, therefore, crucial for any business that aims to create a team of talent that is engaged, productive, satisfied, healthy, and loyal. 

What work-life balance statistics show about the core barriers to reaching a better WLB

Zippia 2 gives us a very good understanding of the five main factors preventing employees from reaching a better work-life balance: 

  1. 32.8%: personal perfectionism. 
  2. 24.2%: company culture.
  3. 16%: burnout.
  4. 13.8%: the job itself.
  5. 13.2%: management.

These numbers must be read carefully. When you gather the statistics related to company culture, the job itself, and management, you realize that more than half of the factors preventing work-life balance come from the corporate side. This figure could get even higher if you consider that burnout can also result from an issue in the work environment.

🎬 Learn how we can support your hybrid work environment in this less than two-minute video about the features of the deskbird app!

Awakening statistics about how poor work-life balance affects personal life

A poor work-life balance has negative impacts on both professional and personal lives. Work increases stress and frustration, lowering productivity, engagement, performance, and job satisfaction. At home, studies show that such a lack of balance is responsible for:

  • 49% of harm or loss of family relationships.
  • 47% of loss of friendship.
  • 38% of health issues.

When work starts to impact personal life and vice versa, it results in a snowball effect where people are neither balanced in their professional nor private lives. This can lead to employee burnout and depression.

Almost 80% of employees believe flexible arrangements are a key component for a better work-life balance

79% of the workforce believe that flexibility at work is the key to a better work-life balance.2 Enabling flexible work arrangements lets employees manage their schedules according to their lives and productivity peaks. This allows them to be more focused and get more done in less time. It also contributes to a less stressful life. For example, it can smoothen the morning rush of getting kids ready, having breakfast, bringing them to school, and arriving at the office on time. It doesn’t mean people work less. They simply adjust their working hours and location to their lives, not vice versa. 

flexible worker in a coffee shop

Flexible work options improve work-life balance and quality of life

Even though we at deskbird, and most people, believe flexible work improves work-life balance and, consequently, the quality of life, is it really true? Research and statistics say yes. It does it in multiple ways. Did you know that 66% of workers skip at least one meal per day?2 Most often, they put this basic need aside because they don’t have time, are stressed, or worry something significant will happen during a break. Meanwhile, 44% of employees with a flex schedule have a more balanced diet, and 38% sleep better, compared to 40% and 31% of team members without flexibility at work.3

👉 12 examples of flexibility at work described! 

The large majority of desk-based employees require flexibility at work

Technology and digitalization have enabled people to work from anywhere without constraints. Hybrid work technology keeps expanding and helps distributed teams work asynchronously but seamlessly. For those reasons, it is no surprise that 81% of workers working on desks expect to have work location flexibility. For 93%, flexitime is the path to take.5 This clearly shows that employees’ vision of how they work has changed over the last couple of years. The numerous pandemic lockdowns pushed them to work remotely. It made them realize that they cannot only work at home but are even more productive than in the office (by 13%). By removing commuting time, they also have more time for personal life.

More than one desk worker out of two still can’t be flexible about working hours

Although many organizations now allow flexible work arrangements, 56% of desk workers still can’t enjoy the perks of flexitime.5 Here again, schedule flexibility does not just benefit the workforce. Businesses can also gain a lot by letting their staff work when they want, starting with more productive team members. For example, focusing is hard when you know everything needs to be dealt with at 5 p.m. because you then have 20 min to cross the city to pick up your children at school or be at the medical appointment that took you 6 months to get. Allowing flexible hours enables employees to be less stressed about the clock. They can adjust their calendars and have their headspace free to concentrate on work-related tasks fully. But still, more than one desk worker out of two isn’t entitled to do so. 

New Zealand, Spain, and France are the work-life balance winners

Work-life balance statistics can vary widely from country to country and across continents. New Zealand, Spain, and France are on the podium of the countries with the highest rates of work-life balance. Here is the Global Life-Work Balance Index's top 10 among the 60 countries with the highest GDP:

  1. New Zealand.
  2. Spain.
  3. France.
  4. Australia.
  5. Denmark.
  6. Norway.
  7. The Netherlands.
  8. United Kingdom.
  9. Canada.
  10. Brazil.

Germany is in the 12th, Italy in the 22nd, and the United States in the 53rd position.4

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How can companies better support work-life balance?

Understanding the importance of balancing work and life better

To support work-life balance and take initiatives to promote it, you first have to understand how it can benefit your team members as much as your business. A lack of work-life balance impacts people’s mental health and their performance at work, engagement, and productivity. Your staff and you as a company have much to earn from enabling a better balance between professional and private lives. Team leaders also need to share the value of work-life balance and understand how it can benefit everyone to be able to encourage and support it.

flexible worker managing her time at home

Allowing flexible work arrangements  

If you want to help your staff achieve a better work-life balance, you must adopt flexible working practices. 89% of HR leaders have noticed increased employee retention after implementing a flexible work model. Multiple strategies exist to introduce more flexibility in the workplace. The key is to discuss with your teams and consider their expectations as much as yours to create a flexible work policy that reflects and answers your needs.

Managing workload fairly

Having the head underwater with work is never a good thing to experience, especially if it lasts, but it is even worse when realizing that colleagues could help as they are less busy with their schedule. It is sometimes unfair that some employees can close their laptops at 4 p.m. and enjoy the rest of the day with family and friends while others have to work two extra hours because their workload is much more significant. Managers play a crucial part in this regard by trying to share the number of tasks for each team member equitably. Transparent communication, trust, and a positive workplace culture are key aspects to fostering a sense of community and encouraging supportive behaviors.

💜 Learn more about the characteristics of a healthy corporate culture!

Creating an atmosphere of trust at work

If your employees still doubt that it is okay to work from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the office one day and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at home the next, the benefits of enabling flexibility at work are gone. Being a perfect employee is no longer coming on-site daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. You need to recognize this and support this new approach to work, especially knowing that personal perfectionism is one of the most significant barriers to work-life balance. Your team members should not worry that enjoying their flexible working arrangements could impact their career development. Trust in the workplace (from workers toward you and vice versa) is essential.

Keeping in mind the work-life balance, generational and personal differences

Work-life balance for Millennials, for example, is different than for other demographic groups. For them, it is about blurring the line between professional and personal responsibilities to balance them both in a healthy manner. For other generations, separating work and private life brings them balance. No matter what your employees need to reach their ideal work-life balance, work flexibility and transparent communication play a key role. Regularly talk with your team members to check how they feel about this topic. First, it allows you to pinpoint any issue. Second, it enables you to make some improvements to ensure your staff can achieve a healthy balance. 

Work-life balance statistics reveal two important facts: work-life balance is the second priority for the vast majority of workers after job security, and flexible work arrangements are the answer to helping them achieve this goal. The good news is that 60% of employees say they’ve reached a good work-life balance, most likely due to the rise of flexible work. Are you still trying to figure out how to make the most of your hybrid practices while not losing money on corporate real estate?

 Request a free demo of the deskbird app to discover how we improve employees’ on-site experience while helping you optimize your space and save costs!

1 What are the top 5 things people want from work? New report, World Economic Forum.


3 FlexJobs, Mental Health America Survey: Those With Flexible Work Report Better Mental Health, FlexJobs.

4 Global Life-Work Balance Index, Remote.

5 Amid spiking burnout, workplace flexibility fuels company culture and productivity, Future Forum Pulse.


Work-life balance statistics: key numbers to be aware of

Paulyne Sombret

Paulyne is a highly respected expert in hybrid work. She's known for her writing on sustainability in the hybrid office, flexible work models, and employee experience. With a strong background in content and SEO, her work explores the exciting trends and latest news in the world of work.

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