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Aussie employees happy with work/life balance

Local employees are working harder than they were two years ago but are now happier at work, new research has revealed.

The Regus Work/Life Balance Index found that although almost 60 percent of Australians are working longer, many believe their work/life balance has improved since the global economic crisis.

“Australian firms are acknowledging the need for work-life practices to produce happier and more productive staff,” Regus regional vice president William Willems said.

The survey, which polled over 16 000 business professionals in over 80 countries, measures job satisfaction indicators and opinions on work life. This year’s Index recorded a 36-point rise in satisfaction since 2010, with employees in small to medium businesses more likely to feel that they have a better work/life balance than those employed by bigger businesses.

Meanwhile, 42 percent of workers at large firms are spending more time at the office compared to 29 percent of employees at SMEs.

Australians are also working harder than before, with almost 60 percent of employees surveyed admitting they have taken on additional duties. Despite this, Australian employees overall have a better work/life balance than staff from most other countries, registering a national Index score of 129 points, five points above the global average of 124.

“There are many measures businesses are adopting to make employees improve work/life balance,” Willems said.

These measures include enabling employees to travel outside of peak hours, to work from locations closer to home, and to work outside the standard 9-5 to spend more time with family. Over a third of workers surveyed said their employers have implemented practices to shorten employee commute times.

Australians are also more productive than their overseas counterparts, with over 75 percent of employees saying they achieve more at work now compared to 2010, ahead of the US, China, and the UK.

Willems said, “[If companies can] adopt a more flexible approach to work, they will produce happier and more productive employees, which in turn will help impact the business bottom line.”