Work-life balance

Making it easier to reconcile working and non-working life is an essential condition, both for encouraging entry into the labour market and for enabling people to remain at work. Key areas for debate and action are:

  • the double workload
  • time management
  • social infrastructures

For many people, the working day does not end when work ends. A second working day often begins at home. This double workload should be taken into account in a consideration of time management. It is also noteworthy that the double workload is distributed in an unbalanced way between men and women. Results from the Fourth European Working Conditions Survey (2005) reveal that women's work and life are 'balanced' in the sense that they devote comparable amounts of their time to both paid and unpaid work (e.g. caring for children and older relatives, housework or cooking), whereas a man's 'work' tend to be confined to his paid job.

The recent report Working time and work intensity explores the variability in working hours among employees, both in terms of quantity and
whether they are ‘standard' or ‘unsocial' hours; it also examines the influence of job content and the impact on work-life balance.