Leadership

Employers are Wrong
About Work-Life Balance

work life balance

When it comes to work-life balance, employers and employees aren’t on the same page.

About 67% of HR professionals say their employees have work-life balance, but 45% of employees say they don’t have enough time each week to do personal activities, according to a new survey from WorkplaceTrends.com and CareerArc.

Here is one reason: 64% of employers say they expect workers to be reachable outside of the office, 18% by email, 3% by phone and 26% by both email and phone.

And one in five employees say they spent more than 20 hours a week working while on personal time.

That’s hardly a balanced life.

On the positive side, flexibility programs are helping. About  87% of HR leaders believe that workplace flexibility programs lead to employee satisfaction, and companies expect to invest more in them in 2015.  Such programs are increasingly important to hiring and retaining talent.

Perhaps even more important than companies realize. While half those employers in the survey say they think workers consider flexibility the most important benefit they offer,  75% of employees ranked it as their top benefit.

With the job market heating up, and employers searching for ways to engage and motivate workers, those programs might well continue to expand and develop. In the meantime, job seekers who want a less time-crunched lifestyle should be sure to investigate a company’s benefits and culture, and be prepared to negotiate a more flexible schedule before accepting a job offer.  Remind your potential employer you will be a happier–and more productive–worker if they agree.

About the Author

Susan Price has been writing about careers, entrepreneurs and personal finance for more than a decade. She’s been an editor at BusinessWeek, Money, and iVillage.com, among others.