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5 industries with the best work-life balance

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay | 27 October 2021


Taking time for yourself amidst the chaos of a busy career is an often underrated practice. While professional success comes with plenty of hard work, dedication, and effort – never underestimate the importance of making time for friends, family, and most of all, you. 

Fortunately, there are now plenty of industries that value a delicate work-life balance, or offer the privilege of flexible work options and arrangements. 

We dive into the top five fields below, and how you can reap the benefits of a better work-life balance today. 

What industries give the best work-life balance?

1. Human Resources. 

According to recent studies by SEEK, the human resources field ranks the highest among Australian workers with “good” or “excellent” work-life balance. As professionals responsible for the physical and mental well-being of their workplace, they often set the stage for a better, balanced lifestyle within the company culture. 

Human resource workers typically advocate for flexible work negotiation, leaving work on time, enforcing breaks, and raising awareness on matters of mental health, work-related stress, and burnout. Tasked with helping employees feel satisfied, happy, and healthy at work – these people are most likely to apply the same practices in their own lives. 

2. Information Technology.

The IT field not only offers an increasing plethora of new, innovative career opportunities, it’s also known for commonly having a “work smarter, not harder” attitude. As an industry of constant development and invention, business leaders have learned to stay adaptive and agile – thus focusing more on the end goals of their projects rather than micro-managing the process.

IT employees are thus likely to have the option of flexible hours or schedules, with some roles even dependent on a completely online workspace. Virtual companies are now on the rise (a product of the global pandemic) with small software companies such as Aha!, Articulate, Inc., and Chargify thriving in a 100% remote space. 

3. Marketing.

marketing team

Known for its work-life balance opportunities around the globe, the marketing field is another option for those who seek a career with challenge and plenty of flexibility. With most marketing campaigns now focused on the online space (spawning roles in digital marketing, social media management, content marketing, etc.), professionals can now work from anywhere, provided they have a working computer and a stable internet connection. 

In a survey by Balance the Grind AU, 88% of marketing employees stated their company supported flexible hours and remote work. A majority also mentioned being able to incorporate some form of daily exercise or meditation into their everyday work routine, helping them feel their best, both mentally and physically. Many also mentioned having the extra time to pursue a side hustle or passion project of their own. 

4. Insurance.

According to SEEK’s report, the insurance field also landed among the topmost industries with “good” or “excellent” work-life balance. This sector also provides the ability to work from anywhere, particularly with the adoption of new technologies (i.e. InsurTech) that enables efficient, productive remote work. This additionally points to their stability amidst economic disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the ability to meet with clients at various times in the day, flexible hours are also common among insurance agents. This gives them the freedom to build a schedule best fit to their needs and daily commitments, helping them balance both the demands of their work and personal lives. 

5. Government 

Finally, those who pursue a career in the public sector are more likely to see the benefits of a greater work-life balance. While plenty of private jobs offer flexible perks, you’re more likely to find these options through a government job. This is due to the varying policies private companies have regarding flexibility, while government departments must follow a centralised set of flexible work policies and agreements. Additionally, public sector employees are able to accumulate extra leave each year through any hours worked overtime (also known as “flex leave”). 

A career in the government sector is therefore ideal for professionals with other family, education, or personal commitments on the side, as hours are often steady, predictable, and offer flexible workarounds when necessary. 

Why is it important to have a good work-life balance? 

Maintaining a positive work-life balance is crucial for managers and employees alike, as it leads to better health, productivity, and overall work performance. 

A workplace culture that values one’s personal as well as professional needs is more likely to see an increase in employee drive, motivation, and satisfaction. Cultivating this type of environment helps workers feel seen and cared for by the business, encouraging them to put forth their best work. 

The ability to balance hard work with a healthy lifestyle – such as having enough hours of sleep, adequate breaks, and the time to bond or socialise with loved ones – also leads to a more positive, and thus productive, mindset in the workplace. 

What factors affect work-life balance?

teamwork concept

A recent survey by SEEK Learning found four key factors deemed essential to work-life balance, as cited by Australian professionals. These included the flexibility in one’s hours or location, the amount of disruptions to one’s personal life, overtime hours, and the ability to “time-bank” (converting overtime hours into accrued paid leave). 

Flexible hours have particularly been found to offer significant workplace benefits, such as greater job satisfaction, lower absenteeism, greater productivity, lower workplace stress, and the ability to attract and retain staff. 

How to create a better work-life balance

Achieving greater work-life balance is an effort required from both employers and employees. Employers can help promote such practices by assessing the working arrangements they currently offer, considering more flexible or remote working options where necessary. It’s also their responsibility to encourage timely breaks, offer parental support, and encourage open discussions of mental health, burnout, and stress-related matters in the workplace. 

Employees can also establish a proper, balanced lifestyle by practicing effective time management, having an organised schedule, and sticking to a set amount of “work” hours. Take the time to “switch off” in the evenings to engage in personal activities or ventures, ensuring you invest enough energy into your unique goals, as well as your career’s. 

Seeking a career in these flexible industries? 

Whether it’s to chase a new career or advance your current one, Upskilled offers a wide range of online courses to get you started.

Providing nationally-recognised training across areas of IT, community services, and business – we help equip aspiring professionals with the qualifications they need to stand out in the job market. Best of all, with our courses delivered online, students are free to tailor their studies according to their personal needs and schedule. 

Find a course that values your time and career goals, and enquire with us today. 
 

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