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The Work-Life Balance: a topic for everyday discussion

We know that some International Organizations produce bulky reports that are seldom read. There are also numerous studies which are of limited value. We wish to call into question, for example, the need to conduct, year after year, a survey based on work-life balance. It is worth recalling that the main purpose of the Organization for Economic and Cooperation Development (OECD) which is the author of this study is to improve the global economy and promote world trade. The reader will make his own judgement about the relevance of a study which was launched in 2011 and includes the level of happiness of those surveyed. The background of this study is explained by: « Finding a suitable balance between work and daily living, a challenge that all workers face… » and « The ability to successfully combine work, family, commitments, and personal life… » and « The more people work, the less time they have to spend on other activities such as personal care or leisure… » (Re.OECD). How could anybody question such statements? Here are a few of the key learnings from this study. First, a full-time worker in the OECD -36 Member States- devotes 63% of the day on average, or 15 hours, to personal care (eating, sleeping etc..) and leisure. And then, the more important aspect for a healthy work-life balance is the amount of time people spend at work (meaning the shortest time possible). According to this study, 5 countries have the best work-life balance: 1.Netherlands-2.Italy -3.Denmark-4.Spain-5.France. To say the least, this survey has really left us a bit in the lurch. And our question is: should an important International Organization focus on a topic such as the work-life balance or rather work on more crucial issues? You be the judge.

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