HR Australia’s top industry for work-life balance

by Chloe Taylor04 Dec 2015
A new report from SEEK Learning has revealed that the HR profession has Australia’s highest satisfaction level when it comes to work-life balance.

The ‘Defining Work-Life Balance’ report, which investigated the work-life balance status of industries around the country, said that 71% of professionals in the HR industry rank their work-life balance as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.

At the other end of the scale were marketing and communications workers, 19% of whom rated their work-life balance as ‘poor’ or ‘terrible’.

Defining work-life balance

The report also revealed that there is not a singular definition of work-life balance.

When describing what work-life balance entailed to them, Australian workers outlined four key interpretations. These were:

Flexibility in work hours and location: Thirty-four per cent of respondents cited this as the definition of work-life balance; it was particularly important to those who were senior level employees or self-employed.  

Work that doesn’t disrupt home life: This was cited by 27% of participants, and was deemed as a higher priority to female and part-time workers.

The ability to time-bank: Almost a quarter of those surveyed named this as a defining characteristic of a good balance between work and personal time. It was found that male and full-time employees were more likely to cite time-banking, as well as those who were employed at middle-management level.

No overtime: A greater priority for entry-level employees, this was cited by 15% of respondents as a must for a healthy work-life balance.

Overall work-life balance ratings

When it came to work-life balance ratings – across all of the definitions of the term – clear ‘winners and losers’ emerged.

Marketing and Communications professionals were described by SEEK as an “anomaly”, making it onto both lists.

Professions with strong work-life balances

Based on proportion who ranked their work-life balance as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’
  • HR professionals (71%)
  • Real estate and property professionals (67%)
  • Consulting and strategy professionals (66%)
  • Marketing and communications professionals (66%)
  • Insurance or super professionals (66%)
Who ranked their work-life balance as either poor or terrible?
  • Call centres and customer service professionals (19%)
  • Marketing and communications professionals (17%)
  • Procurement, manufacturing or transport professionals (17%)
  • Administration or office support professionals (17%)
  • Design and architecture professionals (15%)


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