Commentary

Personal Communication Improves Work-Life Balance

A new international workplace survey of 100,000 people in 34 countries covering North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific by Kelly Services reports that 75% of respondents appreciate the opportunity provided by smartphones and laptops to remain in constant contact with work, even though one third are working longer hours.

Across the globe, 35% say that technology contributes to working longer hours, Yet, more than half 55% of respondents are happy with their current work-life balance. 87% of respondents say the ability to work anywhere, at any time, is a motivating force and a better balance between work and personal life.

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Gen Y workers (aged 18-29), are at the forefront of the technology-driven lift in productivity, but Gen X (aged 30-47) and baby boomers (aged 48-65) are each experiencing significant efficiency gains.

Key findings from the survey:

 North America

  • 53% say productivity at work is ‘much better' and 25% say it is ‘slightly better' as a result of new mobile technologies
  • More respondents (64%) are happy with their work-life balance than elsewhere across the globe
  • Just 30% are working longer hours as a result of the new technology, lower than in either Europe or the Asia Pacific
  • 92% say the opportunity for telecommuting or working remotely is important in deciding where to work
  • 67% of baby boomers are experiencing a better work-life balance than younger generations

Europe

  • 58% say work productivity is ‘much better' and 27% say it is ‘slightly better' as a result of new mobile technologies
  • Satisfaction with work-life balance (49%) is lower than in the rest of the world
  • 33% are working longer hours because of new technology
  • 84% say the opportunity for telecommuting or working remotely is important in deciding where to work
  • 49% of Gen Y place a greater emphasis on a work-life balance than older generations

Asia Pacific

  • 62% say work productivity is ‘much better' and 24% say it is ‘slightly better' as a result of new mobile technologies
  • More respondents (41%) are working longer hours as compared to other regions because of technology
  • 97% say work-life balance is important to them, and 59% are happy with the current situation
  • 89% say the opportunity for telecommuting or working remotely is important in deciding where to work
  • 79% of Gen X employees are the world's most enthusiastic about maintaining virtual contact with their workplace

Kelly Services Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, George Corona, concludes "The revolution in personal communications has improved work-life balance through flexible work practices, working from home, and other family-friendly arrangements, while delivering a significant boost to organizational efficiency."

For more information from Kelly Services, including charts and graphs contributing to the report, please visit here.

 

1 comment about "Personal Communication Improves Work-Life Balance".
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  1. Andrea Learned from Learned On, LLC, July 31, 2009 at 8:46 a.m.

    The people who responded to this are perhaps deluded that being "always on" improves work/life balance. I believe that plenty of scientific/sociological studies (not biz service-sponsored studies) show productivity is decreased by multi-tasking or not being either fully here or there.

    How would the respondees (in this study) families say their work-connected mother/father is balancing life with work? 24/7 "ON" is the way it is, indeed, but let's not find/create research that supports it as a wise cultural move.

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