For a lot of people in today’s fast-paced working landscape, a satisfying work/life balance seems out of reach. When you're sitting at home trying to unwind after a long day, and your phone lights up every minute with new work emails and reminders, pretty soon it feels like you never left the office. Many people can't even wait till the morning to look through them, worried they're falling behind.
Luckily, however, more and more people are starting to realise the link between the realms of life and work. When you’re enjoying a happier personal life out of the office, you’re far more productive when you step inside it. Mental health is at the forefront of a lot of managers minds, and we’re starting to see the results in newer jobs in tech. More people are acknowledging the health benefits of switching off from work - it doesn't have to be your birthday to give yourself the evening off and put your feet up.
Nowadays, plenty of young adults and people transitioning careers are basing work decisions on what people are saying about that job online. There is a ton of research out there about the professions with the best work/ life balance and why, so we thought we’d look through some of the debate.
Myths of the work/ life balance debate
It’s about pay - The jobs with the best rated work/ life balance by researchers aren’t the highest paid ones, nor are they paid similarly. Money doesn’t appear to have a great deal to do with how easily employees are able to take time off, dictate their own hours and working conditions.
Lawyers and surgeons, for instance, are extremely highly paid but rate as some of the lowest jobs for work/ life balance because they not only work long hours, but unpredictable ones.
All teachers have great work/ life balance - Teachers might be surprised to hear this. It isn’t exactly a low-stress job, preparing the future generations for the world ahead. The reason this often makes it onto the list is the school hours teachers work – normally 8-3.
But teachers don’t put their feet up at 3 and enjoy the rest of the day off. There are meetings, marking, school activities, and a million other requirements they are expected to be available for. Teaching is also one of the lowest-paid jobs on the list.
This begs the question of what actually qualifies a work/ life balance? If the work is stressful and underpaid, do fewer overall hours balance this out?
So what puts the balance in work/ life balance?
Consistently across work/ life balance ratings, technology-related jobs shoot to the top, and this seems to explain some common queries about what exactly balance means in this overused phrase.
It appears techies like data scientists, web designers, and social media managers enjoy some of the greatest abilities to dictate their own hours and workloads.
- Jobs with longevity
Tech jobs are in high demand, and with the way our technology needs and innovations only keep growing, this will increase in the foreseeable future.
With their relatively new, rare skillsets, employees in many tech jobs have a degree of power that jobs threatened by automation and technology don’t face. So, the graphic designers, user-experience UX designers, and digital marketing managers of the world, this means better benefits and bargaining power for employees.
- Organisations have competition
Tech fields also produce some of the most entrepreneurs and freelancers of any career field. Organisations need to entice their highly skilled employees to stay and not hop over to one of their competition, especially in such a crowded marketplace.
What do you think? Is work/ life balance satisfying in your career field? Was it a contributing factor to your career choices? Let us know in the comments below.
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