Australia behind in work-life balance

Friday 12 July, 2013: Work-life balance amongst Australians has worsened since 2012 but those that are managing to stay happiest in their jobs are younger staff and the bosses.

The study, released for the second year running by the world’s largest workplace provider Regus, is based on the views of 26,000 professionals in more than 90 countries.

The Regus Work-life Balance Index shows that Australia is down 13 points since 2012, currently sitting on 116 in 2013 compared to the global average of 120 points.

Overall, 60% of workers said they have taken on additional duties during the recent global economic slowdown, which have not subsequently been picked up by a new member of staff. Despite this, 68% of staff said they are enjoying their jobs more since last year.

Key comparisons amongst the Australian findings show:

  • Bosses get more home and family time compared to employees: 36% of business owners are spending more time away from home this year, compared to 45% of staff
  • Business owners are the happiest of all: Work-life balance score of business owners sits at 119 points, up five points compared to employees
  • SMEs have happier staff: 69% of small business staff (less than 50 employees) reportedly enjoy work more than last year, compared to 59% of larger businesses (250+ employees)
  • Younger staff are working harder and achieving more: Only 63% of Baby Boomers report that they are achieving more at work in the last year, compared to 81% of Gen X and Gen Y workers
  • And 58% of Gen X and Gen Y staff spend more time working compared to 50% of Baby Boomers
  • Despite working more, younger staff are happier: Gen X and Gen Y Index sits at 119 points which is 9 points higher than the Baby Boomers

Country Head of Regus Australia, Jacqueline Lehmann, comments: “It’s a well-known fact that happier staff are more productive and more likely to stay in their jobs. However, some businesses still don’t seem to be grasping this simple concept – as shown in this Regus research where we can see that work-life balance has in fact worsened in Australia since last year.

“Business owners have the option to take work home with them and this culture needs to be extended to younger staff – we’ve seen this trend with customers at our Regus business centres and when implemented, it works very well.

“This research shows that 48% of Gen X and Gen Y employees are spending more time working away from home compared to last year. This shows that it needs to be addressed.

“Businesses need to realise that to attract and retain talent they must focus on extending their flexible working policies, such as offering a choice of work locations, particularly with the younger generation.

“We obviously see this lot at Regus with our network of local centres being used every day by drop in workers – as flexi-work is exactly what we stand for and I do believe we will continue to see the rise of it.”

Regus is the leading global provider of flexible workspace with products and services ranging from fully equipped offices to professional meeting rooms, business lounges and the world's largest network of video communication studios.