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Build Your Career Work-Life Balance

Got Work-Life Balance? Workers and Bosses Don't See Eye to Eye

Got Work-Life Balance? Workers and Bosses Don't See Eye to Eye
Credit: Stoatphoto/Shutterstock

Think you're helping your employees achieve a healthy work-life balance? Your team might disagree, new research suggests.

A study from the staffing firm OfficeTeam revealed that 63 percent of senior managers believe their company is very supportive of its staff members' efforts to achieve a healthy work-life balance, compared with just 34 percent of employees who feel the same.

Part of the disconnect is that employers and employees have different views on the perks that actually help workers balance their professional and personal lives. The research found that while 44 percent of employees think that flexible work schedules give them the best chance at a healthy work-life balance, just 37 percent of their companies actually provide that option.

Employers are meeting expectations on the two other perks employees say have the biggest impact on their work-life balance.

The study discovered that 33 percent of employees said having a generous amount of vacation time helps them best achieve work-life balance, a perk offered by more than 40 percent of their employers. [See Related Story: 25 Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance]

In addition, 12 percent of the employees surveyed think being able to telecommute helps with their work-life balance, a benefit offered by 14 percent of employers.

Employers might want to rethink their programs designed to keep employees healthy. While nearly 30 percent of the employees said their company does provide them with health and wellness programs, just 8 percent said those perks actually contribute to their work-life balance.

Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam, said companies can't stick to providing the same work-life balance and health options as they did a decade ago.

"Today's workers are increasingly focused on effectively juggling personal and professional priorities," Britton said in a statement. "They have higher expectations when it comes to employers promoting their wellbeing in and out of the office."

Britton said employers are best served by spending time figuring out which benefits have a the most impact on work-life balance.

"When staff are given tools to maximize their time, balance home and work demands, and stay healthy, companies benefit from employees that are more happy, productive and loyal," she said.

The study was based on surveys of 300 senior managers at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees, and more than 500 U.S. workers ages 18 or older and employed in offices.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.