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Work-Life Balance

Hard At Work

 Group of seven people working around a table.

Are professionals living to work or working to live? A new survey from staffing firm Robert Half shows it's more of the latter these days.

Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of employees polled said they've achieved a good to excellent work-life balance.

Forty-three percent think it's getting better compared to three years ago.

Professionals in Nashville, Denver, Atlanta, Cincinnati, San Diego and Raleigh reported the most dissatisfaction in their work-life balance. Employees in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco scored the highest marks.

"When employees can enjoy their personal lives alongside work responsibilities, they are happier and less stressed and bring their best efforts to the job," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half.

In fact, according to Robert Half research linking happy workers with higher productivity and increased loyalty, employees who felt they achieved symmetry between work and home were two times more likely to be happy on the job compared to those who reported they didn't.

So, who should be responsible for work-life balance? Thirty-nine percent of employees think it's the company's job. But in a separate survey, 26 percent of business leaders said they believe achieving that balance is primarily the employee's concern.

McDonald notes that management teams who support work-life balance recognize the benefits to their organization. "Companies that value the well-being of their employees are more likely to attract and retain skilled talent in today's competitive hiring environment. Basically, happy and well-balanced workers mean less burnout and turnover."

So, how does one achieve work-life balance? Some companies help in the effort by offering such things as flexible work schedules and on-site day care. But most of the hard work has to be done by you, the worker.

Achieving an optimal work life balance begins with you deciding what that might mean in your individual case. Next, you must realistically face what it will take to achieve it. Will it mean finding another job, or even a new profession? Maybe.

Perhaps you can achieve the best work-life balance simply by managing your time toward that end. In any case, the future is in your hands.