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Build Your Career Work-Life Balance

5 Reasons Achieving Work-Life Balance Is Harder Than Ever

5 Reasons Achieving Work-Life Balance Is Harder Than Ever
Credit: Lyjak/Shutterstock

Trying to balance work and home life is getting harder for many workers, new research finds.

Despite an increased emphasis by many organizations on trying to improve work-life balance, nearly 25 percent of U.S. workers say finding enough time for their work and personal lives has gotten more difficult over the last five years, according to a study from EY, a provider of assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services.

Employees point to a variety of reasons for their poor work-life balance, including:

  • Having salaries that haven't increased much, but expenses that have.
  • Increased responsibilities at work.
  • Working longer hours.
  • Increased responsibilities at home.
  • Having children.

Creating a positive work-life balance has been especially difficult for younger generations. The study revealed that about 50 percent of millennials and Gen X employees have seen their responsibilities increase at work over the last five years, while more than 40 percent said they have seen their obligations at home increase at the same time. [3 Ways to Maintain Work-Life Balance While Staying Connected ]

The research revealed that millennials are the most likely generation to sacrifice their professional success for an improved work-life balance. Specifically, millennials are more willingly than their older counterparts to change jobs or careers, give up an opportunity for a promotion or move their family to another location to better manage their work and family lives. In addition, they're also more likely to take a pay cut in exchange for more work flexibility.

Having a flexible work structure is important for the majority of employees globally, regardless of age. Nearly 66 percent of those surveyed said after competitive pay and benefits, being able to work flexibly and still be on track for promotions and work with colleagues, including their boss, who support their efforts to work flexibly, are what they want most out of their jobs.

Other perks full-time employees seek are working flexibly informally when needed, receiving paid parental leave and not working excessive overtime.

The study was based on surveys of close to 9,700 full-time workers at companies of varying sizes in eight countries: the United States, Germany, Japan, China, Mexico, Brazil, India and the United Kingdom.

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.

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