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Work life balance – what’s the accurate national picture? New AWALI findings spell out exactly the state of Australian work life balance. What working women and employers need to know

Work life balance is talked about a lot these days. Whether its study leave to flexible working hours, or shorter days for new dads to job sharing there are lots of innovative ideas floating around that can benefit employees and the businesses they work for. I got a sneak peek at some brand new findings at the Women Management and Work conference. But it seems all this discussion is not enough, with the Australian Work Life Index (AWALI) and the University of South Australia publishing the results of a four year comparative study from a large sample of working Australians finding that our work life interference is getting worse.

AWALI have recently published their results in a report titled “How much should we work? Working hours, holidays, and working life: the participation challenge“. I have been doing presentations on work like balance, and I have found the AWALI findings very useful as they are viewed the national leader and benchmark for work-life data.

I’m sure I’ll be quoting the AWALI findings often, but the key findings I wanted to publish here were:

There is a significantly large jump in work life interference and stress from working full time (35-47 hours a week) to working full time plus (more then 48 hours a week).

64.8% of women working full time always/very often felt rushed for time, compared to 50.1% of men.

The majority of both men and women working full time wished they could work a few less hours. And almost one in three full time employees felt that work often/almost always interfered with their live activities.

26.9% of full time working women were dissatisfied with their work life balance, compared to 19.7% of men.

This is just a few of the extensive and thought provoking findings AWALI published, but already my head is teeming with ideas about how to create workplaces that cause less work life interference. If you have any ideas about how to improve your employees work life balance, please share in the comments section. And if you need to start managing upwards to your boss better, check this out.


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