hether you call it work-life balance, work-life integration
, or just the new normal
, workers are spending more time at the office. Millennials are the most likely generation to have a solid work-life balance, with 61% reporting a “good” balance, compared to 55% of Baby Boomers, according to a new Office Pulse survey of nearly 700 business professionals. Overall, more than half (59%) of respondents said they have a good work-life balance.
That balance is vital considering many workers are spending more time at the office than ever before. More than one in five professionals have worked until midnight or later, with one in four working late at least one night a week, and a sad 7% working late every single day. Not only are they spending more time at the office, nearly a quarter are working straight through lunch five days a week.
There’s good news for companies looking to recruit talent: one in five business professionals said they’d take a slight pay cut for a job with a better work-life balance, thus reinforcing the importance of life and culture in the workplace.
Companies have noticed this shift in office hours and are offering perks to help thwart burnout and keep employees happy. 44% of respondents said their company allows employees to work remotely, 26% tout gym/exercise programs and 26% note free snacks.
If you want to make employees happier, just give them more personal space. 38% of business professionals said the one improvement they’d like to make to their office space is more personal space. “I would give my eye teeth for a cubicle and a drawer,” one professional lamented. “I had to fight tooth and nail for my own trash can.” If more space isn’t possible, 28% would like more flexible sit/stand desks.
How can companies improve work-life balance?
How do you bring life to work?
Many professionals are fueling their longer days at the office with java. 48% of business professionals have 1-2 cups of coffee every day, up slightly from 2016. 17% have 3-4 cups a day and just 2% have five or more cups (probably those folks burning the midnight oil).
Bringing Life to Work
Longer days mean professionals are forced to bring life TO work. 77% check their personal email at the office, 69% make personal calls and schedule personal appointments, 57% shop online, 54% check social networks, some pay bills and others job search.
Additionally, four-legged friends tend to make appearances (for some) in an attempt to bring life into their office spaces. 25% of c-level executives and 16% of senior managers bring their pet to the office, but in general just 2% of business professionals take advantage of the benefits of having a furry friend in the office.
Maybe we should take a page from our northern neighbors, who seem to have mastered this balance. Two-thirds of Canadian business professionals report having a good work-life balance, fewer Canadians are secretly job searching and they’re more likely to consistently take lunch breaks.