Benefits and Compensation, Recruiting, Talent

For Majority of Professionals, Work Gets in the Way of Good Health

A recent survey finds more professionals are struggling with work-life balance, and are having a difficult time taking care of their overall health.


The survey of more than 1,200 professionals, conducted in January 2018 by job site FlexJobs, finds that only 30 percent of respondents are currently satisfied with their work-life balance, compared to 45 percent who reported being satisfied with their work-life balance in the same survey three years ago. Additionally, 37 percent of respondents report being stressed by their level of work-life balance, up from 29 percent in 2015.
But perhaps most noteworthy is that 86 percent of survey respondents say work conflicts with their efforts to take care of their overall health.
FlexJobs’ finding is in keeping with a two-year study of more than 17,000 employees across 19 industries in the United States, conducted by Mental Health America, formerly known as the National Mental Health Association. In that study, which was published in October 2017, 63 percent of respondents reported that their workplace stress resulted in a significant impact on their mental and behavioral health.

Seeking Balance

However, additional findings from the FlexJobs survey suggest that flexible work can significantly improve workers’ work-life balance, physical and mental health, and relationships. Eighty-nine percent of those responding to the survey think having a job with work flexibility would help them be healthier and take better care of themselves. Flexible work refers to professional-level jobs that have a telecommuting, flexible schedule, freelance or part-time component.
“Poor work-life balance continues to be a major, chronic issue for today’s workforce, and despite more conversations about the topic, the problem seems to be getting worse,” said Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “Employers really need to pay attention when the overwhelming majority of workers say that work flexibility would make their lives better is combined with the fact that flexible work has proven bottom line benefits to companies. It is very clear that the further adoption of flexible work arrangements can provide healthier and more sustainable benefits – economic, health, social, and more – to both workers and organizations.”

Survey Data Shows

The FlexJobs survey provides key data regarding the impact of flexible jobs on personal health and non-romantic relationships:

  • 94 percent think it would have a positive impact on their personal life.
  • 89 percent think a flexible job would help them take better care of themselves.
  • 88 percent believe it would decrease their levels of stress.
  • 69 percent think it would increase the frequency they exercised.
  • 88 percent say it would create more time to spend with family.
  • 78 percent think it would help them be a better friend.

The survey also provides key data regarding the impact of flexible jobs on romantic relationships:

  • 44 percent think having a flexible job would make their sex lives better, and another 30 percent are optimistic it would (i.e. having less stress in their lives would make them happier, feel more attractive, have more time for their partners, etc.).
  • 84 percent think it would help them be a more attentive spouse/partner/significant other.
  • 53 percent think it would increase time available for dates/date nights.
  • 47 percent say it would benefit their romantic relationship, and another 31 percent are hopeful it would.

In addition, the survey provides insight into the impact of flexible jobs on working parents. Of the more than 500 respondents with children 18 and under living at home, 95 percent think having a job with work flexibility would help them be a better parent. Additionally, 91 percent think it would help them be healthier and take better care of themselves.