Men happier than women with work-life balance: Survey

Taking vacation, breaks during the day can increase satisfaction
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 09/12/2011

When it comes to extreme happiness in the office and at home, men are consistently happier than women, according to a recent survey by Captivate Network. Men are 25 per cent happier at work than women, eight per cent happier at home and 75 per cent of them report being able to balance their work and personal lives, found the survey of more than 670 employees from Canada and the United States.

The person who is the most likely to be happy at work and at home is a 39-year-old married man with a household income between $150,000 and $200,000 who is in a senior management position, with one young child and a wife who works part-time.

The person who is the mostly likely to be unhappy is a 42-year-old unmarried woman with a household income less than $100,000, working in a professional position, such as a doctor or lawyer.

In the workplace, particularly among young single professionals, men are nearly two times more likely than women to balance their work and personal lives. Compared to their female counterparts, these men are 25 per cent more likely to take breaks throughout the day for personal activities, found the survey.

Men are also 35 per cent more likely to take breaks, "just to relax."

The impact of a poor work-life balance can be serious. Nearly 87 per cent of respondents indicated that work-life balance affects their health — particularly women — in areas such as stress, headaches, muscle tension and weight gain.

Unfortunately, while nearly one in four employees reported that their companies had created special wellness programs to support them in their quest for work-life balance, few people actually seem to benefit.

In fact, it was the employees working for companies without wellness programs that were 23 per cent happier and balanced.

"Our data indicates that although many employers make noble attempts to create effective wellness programs, it's the environment and culture of an organization that best benefits an employee's sense of balance," said Mike DiFranza, president of Captivate Network.

The top ways for achieving a work-life balance include taking vacations, creating a weekly do-to list, leaving work at a reasonable hour and taking breaks during the work day, found the survey.

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