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Are You Living to Work or Working to Live?

Published Friday Sep 7, 2018

Are professionals living to work or working to live? A new survey from global staffing firm Robert Half shows it's more of the latter these days. Nearly three-quarters of employees polled said they've achieved a good to excellent work-life balance. Forty-three percent think it's getting better compared to three years ago.

Professionals in Nashville, Denver, Atlanta, Cincinnati, San Diego and Raleigh reported the most dissatisfaction in their work-life balance. Employees in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco scored the highest marks.

"When employees can enjoy their personal lives alongside work responsibilities, they are happier and less stressed and bring their best efforts to the job," says Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half.

Work Life Chart


Robert Half research linking happy workers with higher productivity and increased loyalty, revealed that employees who felt they achieved symmetry between work and home were two times more likely to be happy on the job compared to those who reported they didn't.

So, who should be responsible for work-life balance?

-39 percent of employees think it's the company's job. But in a separate survey,

-26 percent of business leaders said they believe achieving that balance is primarily the employee's concern.

McDonald says that management teams who support work-life balance recognize the benefits to their organization. "Companies that value the well-being of their employees are more likely to attract and retain skilled talent in today's competitive hiring environment. Basically, happy and well-balanced workers mean less burnout and turnover."

The surveys were developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms. They include responses from more than 2,800 workers in 28 U.S. markets and more than 5,500 U.S. leaders across a variety of professional fields.

Founded in 1948, Robert Half has more than 300 staffing locations worldwide and offers job search services at For additional career and management advice, visit the Robert Half blog at


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