With thanks to all who are participating in my Weekend Polls, here are the results of this past weekend’s poll, which I’ve now closed. The focus of this discussion: Do you feel you have a healthy work-life balance?
Just one in five of you were able to say “yes”
This marks the third consecutive year I’ve asked readers this question and, on the surface, the numbers are disappointing. Only 21% of respondents were able to say yes to the question, compared to 44% of you in 2016. However, this year’s response rate is actually 1% higher than the percentage of respondents who were able to say yes in 2015.
The good news
Almost have of you (47%) were able to say you have work-life balance in control most of the time, with exceptions. This is significantly higher than the 24% of respondents who chose this answer in 2016, but fairly consistent with 2015 – when 56% of respondents felt this way.
Almost a third of you, however, reported that they don’t have a healthy work-life balance
That’s consistent with respondents’ 2016 replies, and up from 24% in 2015.
Are you in office environments that support the concept of a healthy balance?
69% of respondents say their office cultures support a healthy work-life balance. That compares to 60% of you in 2016, and 24% in 2015.
How to achieve what can seem an elusive ideal?
It’s all about respect – respecting yourself and your own time, and commanding respect from others. As you’ll see below, one reader and her/his family sold their London home and moved to the coast, where s/he took on a part time role in order to spend more family time together. Other readers encourage setting boundaries with your employers. Read on for a look at your peers’ suggestions from around the globe, and see which approaches can work for you.
THE DATA: YOUR RESPONSES
Note: Information below reflects the percentage of respondents who selected specific responses from multiple choice options. In instances where more than one person offers similar responses to an open ended question, I typically cluster or paraphrase such responses rather than duplicating all of them.
Do you feel you have a healthy work-life balance?
- Most of the time, but there are exceptions: 47% of respondents, compared to 24% in 2016 and 56% in 2015
- No: 32% of respondents, the same percentage as in 2016, and up from 24% in 2015
- Yes: 21% of respondents, down significantly from 44% in 2016 and more on par with 20% in 2015
Do you think your office culture supports a healthy work-life balance?
- Yes: 69% of respondents, compared to 60% in 2016 and 65% in 2015
- No: 29% of respondents
I asked readers who feel you have work-life balance under control to share tips on how to achieve it. Here’s what you said.
- Set boundaries, manage expectations, learn to politely say no
- Having flex time means I have the ability to exercise in the morning, before work
- (We) sold up on London, moved to the coast, and (I took) a part time PA role, in order to spend more time with my family
- Work, family and one other activity …
- Don’t stay too late to finish projects!
- Work, family, and one other activity (i.e., seeing friends alone, playing a sport, or something else that does not include a colleague or family member). This way you have more to discuss with your spouse rather than just work all the time, and if both work and family have become temporarily stressful, you have an “escape” to refresh your mind and rebalance yourself. It’s something that is “just yours”.
- A work-life balance is yet to be achieved!
- Learn to say no / I’ve mastered how to say “no”
- It’s all about personal definition and flexing
- I think it’s luck! I have an amazingly supportive employer
- (I) started to put myself first, and got stricter about leaving on time
- Have a clear career direction, and participate in scheduled team sports