Business owners are happiest, reveals Regus study

Dublin, 19 August 2013 – Despite longer working hours and increasing workloads, it seems that Irish professionals’ work-life balance is improving, with 65% declaring themselves happy with the amount of time they spend at home compared to just half last year.

These are the findings of the annual Work-Life Balance report published by Regus, the global workspace provider that has business centres in Dublin and Cork.

Business owners are the happiest of the nation’s workforce, with 76% saying they enjoy work more than last year, compared with just 58% of employed workers.

Previous research from Regus has shown that three quarters of workers have taken on additional duties since the recession began, and that the Irish are more likely to work on holiday than most other Europeans. However, it is clear that longer hours doesn’t necessary diminish their sense of well-being.

The crucial factor appears to be choice and control; having the flexibility to decide when, where and how long to work. This goes some way to explaining why business owners, in charge of their own destiny, are more satisfied at work.

Dominic Harrison, CEO for Northern Europe at Regus comments: “We know that Irish workers remain under pressure – but it seems that strides have been made over the last year to better juggle work, family and leisure. This could reflect mild improvements in the economic outlook, as well as greater acceptance of flexible working.

“Employers and entrepreneurs must recognise the importance of work-life balance not only from a health perspective but for the company as a whole. Happy workers are more productive. As the jobs market improves, companies that actively promote flexible working as a means to achieve a better work-life balance will also be more successful in retaining their talent.”

Previous research from Regus has showed that 84% of office workers in Ireland believe flexible working makes them more productive and helps them redress their work-life balance.

Business owner David Connolly has adopted a flexible approach to where he works and believes this has had a positive effect on his work-life balance. He is Managing Director of Decavia Ltd, a consultancy specialising in connected aircraft IT solutions for the aviation industry.

“I used to work from home but found that the boundaries between my personal and professional life were becoming blurred. After the birth of my second son, I decided to give working from a business centre a go,” he says.

David chose to work from the Regus centre at Dublin Airport. “My free time has become a lot more enjoyable as a result, as I’m now able to leave work at work. I’ve also found that I can be a lot more flexible in terms of working hours. Even though I certainly don’t work any less, I’ve found that having control over when and where I work has led to significant improvements in my work-life balance.”