I have my own theory on this, which I am most will realise is made of bits and pieces from reading these posts.
The entire idea of WLB stems from those who work 9 – 5 but in all honesty are out of the house from 7:30 – 6:30. By the time you get home, most of our kids are ready for bed and by the time you are home, you are so tired that all you can think about is having dinner and getting that remote in your hand with your feet up.
The idea has been flagged of having reduced working hours in a day. Say 5 hours in lieu of 8. This sounds fantastic, let’s be honest. The idea is that using this strategy gives workers more energy and increases productivity. Sounds good. But how would your pay structure work? Will your pay stay the same or will it decrease accordingly? Let’s be straight here. Most businesses don’t care about how much you do before lunch, its more about doing as much in the allocated hours, and even then, it might not be good enough. So, I can’t see your boss paying you the same amount of money in a 25 hour week as they do in a 40 hour week. That’s even if you do the same amount of work.Will you be taking less money for working less hours? Hell no. Why would you take a financial hit so you can work less but much harder.There is only a small amount of jobs where you can work some days from home. Some of us and I included have the privilege of taking 30 steps from my bed to get to work. But this isn’t possible for 95% of the population. 10% might work within a 5km radius of your jobs but most need to either drive or take a train. And then there is all that horrendous peak hour traffic.
So what is the solution? Seriously I am asking that question for those of you who do need to get up every day and commute.
In Australia as great a country as it is, we all work like dogs. Most work ourselves into the ground till you are forced out on stress leave or die from an early heart attack.
In my reading I have found that the best work-life balance countries are all in Europe. No surprise there, but it’s how they structure it that is most important.
Out of all of these places, Denmark is the benchmark. Rhyme intended.
Denmark balances salary against cost of living well, and average daily work hours (6.6 per day) way outnumber leisure hours (8.8 per day). No surprise there – this is the home country of hygge, after all. According to US News & World Report, this is also the best country in the world for raising children. Both mothers and fathers are entitled to 23 weeks of parental leave, plus mothers get an extra four weeks of leave before the expected due date.
In Australia you need to “qualify” for such privileges. Those who work hard for a better life get nothing and those who chose to sponge off society get the red-carpet treatment. This MUST change.