National Work and Family Month Explores Work-Life Balance

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October is National Work and Family Month, which puts work-life balance among Americans at the forefront. A national poll from service provider Workplace Options shows that the majority of Americans are satisfied with their work-life balance, but most are still uncomfortable with taking time off.

Fifty-nine percent of poll participants said they do not wish they had more boundaries between work and family. Meanwhile, 62 percent said they did not feel pressured to respond to work emails or calls outside of their work hours. And only 27 percent said they feel technology has increased their work-related stress.

“With all of the emphasis on a lack of work-life balance in the United States, these poll findings are positive for employers,” Dean Debnam, CEO of Workplace Options, said in a statement. “Still, there is some room for improvement, with 4 out of 10 employees desiring more of a boundary between work and family time.”

While American workers are generally satisfied with their work-life balance, more than half are still uncomfortable with taking time off. Fifty-eight percent said they were not encouraged by employers to take vacation time or time off for the holidays. Almost half (45 percent) said they feel obligated to check on work while on vacation, and 34 percent said they are expected to check in with work while on vacation.

The majority of American workers are uncomfortable with taking extended periods of time off work -- 71 percent said they would feel comfortable taking just one day off, 64 percent said they feel comfortable taking a few days off, and 59 percent feel comfortable taking a week off. Just 39 percent said they feel comfortable taking more than a week off work.

“Work-life balance doesn’t begin and end with the average workday,” Debnam said. “If your employees don’t feel comfortable using their vacation days, they might face issues associated with a lack of work-life balance: burnout, disengagement and presenteeism, just to name a few.”

Are you satisfied with your work-life balance? Tell us in the comments below!