Is it time to go home?
If you’re stuck at work doing overtime most days, there is little doubt your work/life balance will suffer.
The way people juggle time at work with time devoted to leisure, looking after themselves and spending time with family is a topic studied around the world.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) includes work/life balance as one of 11 criteria in its Better Life Index, a comparison of the quality of life in more than a dozen countries. It finds Denmark has the best work/life balance in its research, followed by the Netherlands and Norway. At the other end of the scale are Turkey and Mexico – both of which have a high share of people who work very long hours.
Unpaid work counts too
Cooking, cleaning and caring for family are examples of domestic chores that also count as work, according to the OECD and others.
So those looking for a better balance should remember to tally all their work – not just the time that is paid for.
What can I change?
One of the difficulties in getting a good work/life balance is that it can be difficult to achieve – and it might feel like some of the choices are out of an individual’s control.
One idea is to look at things that can be changed, such as whether a long commute can be cut and the time better spent elsewhere.