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South Africa,

Happiness is… running a business (especially if you’re from Generations X & Y) reveals Regus study

Work:life balance in South Africa is booming compared to other countries around the world, according to the Regus Work:life Balance Index. But the relationship between work and leisure gets better if you’re running a business or if you’re from Generations X & Y.

The study, published for the second year running by global workplace provider Regus, is based on the views of 26,000 professionals in more than 90 countries.

Despite the nation’s high global ranking, South Africa’s place in the Index has slipped slightly in overall work:life balance over the year, reflecting the pressure of work in a strongly growing economy.

This solid work:life balance showing is stronger for those running their own businesses, with 83% of business owners enjoying work more than last year.

Perhaps contrary to common assumptions, the older generation appears less adept at juggling work and home life. Those in younger generations (89%) are more likely than their older counterparts (65%) to report that they are enjoying work more than they did last year as well as being more satisfied with their levels of productivity (94% compared to 73%).

Key findings:

  • South Africa scores 129 in the Regus Work:life Balance Index 2013, compared to 135 in 2012
  • The global average is 120
  • Business owners score 132
  • Generations X&Y score 132
  • Respondents from small firms score 129

Kirsten Morgendaal, Area Director at Regus, comments: “Staff who are happy at work are both more productive and less likely to leave the company. As the jobs market improves, businesses are realising that to hire or retain talent they must focus on extending their flexible working policies, such as offering a choice of work locations. This is already happening – we see our network of local centres used every day by people working flexibly.

Ian Cameron, MD of Cameron Medical Recruitment adds, “As an employer, I would emphasise that the younger workforce does not feel it has to remain loyal to an employer in the same way as before. It is crucial to let them work in ways that suit them, AND ENHANCES THEIR CVS and market value, rather than fit them to your way of doing things.(Within the bounds of reason of course) Work-life balance is top of their agenda, and the tech-savvy generation view work as something you do, rather than somewhere you go.” AT THE SAME TIME THEY ALSO REQUIRE GOOD COACHING AND TRAINING which, along with enhancing their CVs AND A BETTER QUALITY OF WORK LIFE BALANCE will, to a significant extent, aid in their retention.

Previous research from Regus has showed that 72% of professionals globally believe that flexible working improves their productivity.

Generation Y: born after 1980; Generation X: born 1965-80; Baby Boomers: born 1945-1964