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Happier and more productive as South African Work-Life Balance improves

Workers across South Africa (SA) declare that their work-life balance has improved, according to the Regus Work-Life Balance Index, which was launched today. Despite working harder than ever before, people are enjoying their jobs more, and the majority feel that they have enough time to spend at home or on personal pursuits. The Index calibrates job satisfaction indicators and respondents’ views on their overall work-life balance with data on real-life practice such as working hours and commuting from a global survey of over 16,000 professionals in more than 80 countries. It registered a 24% rise in global work-life balance between 2010 and 2012.

Key findings are:-

· Well over half of SA workers enjoy work more (76%) and are satisfied with the amount of time they spend at home or on personal pursuits (63%);

· The vast majority of SA workers (75%) state that they achieve more at work than in 2010 confirming the connection between a good work-life balance and productivity;

  • 37% of SA respondents say that businesses have tried to shorten employee commute times acknowledging the strain a lengthy journey in and out of work can have;

A good work-life balance is essential for staff to live a healthy and happy life, but this index breaks new ground in showing that it is also necessary for business growth. This survey finally provides firm evidence connecting productivity with a better, more flexible lifestyle and sounds a call for all businesses to urgently look at their own working practices.

Kirsten Morgendaal, Area Director of Regus comments: “The launch of our new Work-Life balance Index brings the encouraging news that workers state that their work-life harmony is improving. After the initial market free-fall prior to 2010 and the global economic meltdown that ensued, it is not surprising that workers report feeling happier now. For example, worries about job security have decreased from the start of the downturn in some sectors and recent Regus research confirms that global business confidence is stabilising. The survey also importantly confirms that happier employees are also more productive with a convincing majority of respondents declaring that they are achieving more than in 2010.

“As economic conditions improve and the job market becomes more dynamic, businesses wanting to retain and hire top talent cannot afford to ignore the value that a reputation for affording a good work-life balance can bring. In addition to this, businesses have become increasingly results-oriented during the downturn and are everywhere seen to be opting for less traditional working practices and instead choosing to increase efficiency by giving workers more flexibility. One such measure that is becoming increasingly popular is helping workers to reduce tiring and unproductive commute time through the introduction of more flexible working practices.

“Whether these measures enable workers to travel out of peak time, to work from locations closer to home or to spend more time with their families there is no doubt that empowering workers to work their way is being acknowledged as an ever more important factor in promoting productivity and well-being.”

- Ends –

The Regus Work-Life Balance Index

The survey canvassed the opinions of over 16,000 business professionals in more than 80 countries from the Regus global contacts database. The Regus global contacts database of over 1 million business-people worldwide is highly representative of senior managers and owners in business across the globe. Respondents were asked about their working hours, satisfaction with the amount of time spent at home or with family along with their views on whether there had been improvements in their overall work-life balance. The Index calibrates this data and is benchmarked against a base point set at 100 in 2010. The survey was managed and administered by the independent organisation, MindMetre,