Maybe the question should be: How does the U.S.accommodate work and safety of families and children?
You may find it notable that the U.S. ranked in the top five of The Atlantic’s Best 23 Countries for Work-Life Balance Better Life Index (Index). A goal of the Index is to promote better lives by reducing poverty among working families.
The Index, developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), compares factors like education, housing and environment among its 23 member countries. Results are based on: 1) the share of the labor force that works more than 50 hours a week, 2) time spent on leisure and personal tasks, and 3) employment rates for women who have children.
According to the Index, a government is impacted when parents cannot achieve desired work-life balance because consequences occur which lower the parents’ welfare as well as development in the country. Thus, when parents choose between earning and child care, the result is too few children and too little employment.
However, the U.S. is “the only OECD country without a national paid parental leave policy.” The reason cited for that is that our governmental structure operates differently than the other member countries.
Key findings in the U.S.
Men are more likely to spend more hours in paid work, while women spend longer hours on unpaid domestic work. (Men in the United States, spend 154 minutes per day cooking, cleaning or caring, higher than the OECD average of 131 minutes, but still less than American women who spend 258 minutes per day on average on domestic work.)
Evidence suggests that long work hours may impair personal health, jeopardize safety and increase stress. (People in the United States work 1 778 hours a year, higher than the OECD average of 1 749 hours.)
The amount and quality of leisure time is important for people’s overall well-being and can bring additional physical and mental health benefits. People in the United States devote 66% of their day, or 14.3 hours, to personal care (eating, sleeping, etc.) and leisure (socializing with friends and family, hobbies, games, computer and television use, etc.) – less than the OECD average of 14.8 hours. Fewer hours in paid work for women do not necessarily result in greater leisure time. In the United States, both men and women devote approximately 14 hours per day to personal care and leisure.
A roadmap for corporations to include work-life balance
At the head of improving the work-life balance in the U.S. is the topic of working mothers. It is a challenge for employers, too, who expect their employees to be sitting at a desk from nine to five, particularly in the present economy. Suggestions range from placing more women in high level positions, to creating flexible working arrangements, to availability of more part-time work, to onsite daycare.
Define your work-life balance
To access a calculator that lists your work-leisure hours, visit CNN.
For a tongue-in-cheek perspective at how elite women of society balance work and life, check out Joanna Weiss’ Boston Globe article on Boston.com
Allow The Lee Group to help you find work that fits your lifestyle
The Lee Group knows that the best employees are those who find a work-life balance. Talk to a staffing or recruiting professional today about what that looks like for you.
Source: Statistics courtesy of http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/work-life-balance/