Edition 2021

Foto omschrijving: Airline crew crossing a zebra crossing while pulling a trolley at Schiphol Airport

Which jobs often cause a poor work-life balance?

At the end of 2020, during the coronavirus crisis, 7.6 percent of all employees said they experienced a work-life imbalance often or very often. This is less than in the years 2017–2019, when it was nearly 10 percent. A work-life imbalance is relatively common among employees in full-time work and among parents with young children. This is evident from the Netherlands Working Conditions Survey (NEA) conducted by CBS and TNO.

17.1%20.0%18.0%16.8%20.9%Officers of the deck, pilotsWhich jobs often cause a poor work-life balance?ChefsLorry driversPhysiciansHospitality managers

Employees with a work-life imbalance miss or neglect family activities because of their work. The opposite can also be the case, where activities with family or relatives come at the expense of work. In 2020, on average 7.9 percent of men experienced a work-life imbalance often or very often, slightly more than women (7.2 percent). The vast majority of employees (over 92 percent) indicate that they never or at most occasionally experience an imbalance.

Employees 15-74 yrs with a (regular) work-life imbalance, 2020 (%)
jaar (Highly) regular imbalance
2014 9.1
2015 8.6
2016 9.5
2017 9.8
2018 9.8
2019 9.7
2020 7.6

Often among full-time working women

Employees who work more hours are more likely to experience an imbalance. This varied from 6.1 percent of employees with a part-time job to 9.2 percent of those with a full-time job. Within the group working full-time, more women than men experienced an imbalance.

Employees 15-74 yrs with a (highly) regular work-life imbalance, by family situation and employment status, 2020 (%)
werk No child Youngest child aged 12 or under Youngest child aged 13 or over
Total 7.3 9.9 6
Part-time 5.8 8.3 4.8
Full-time 8.5 11.8 7.9

Especially parents with young children

Employed parents whose youngest child is 12 years or younger were more likely to experience regular imbalance than parents with older children, and more likely than people without children. If they are not only parents of a young child but also have a full-time job, the feeling of imbalance increases even more (11.8 percent). Women working full-time with small children were even more likely to experience imbalance than men in full-time employment: 16.2 percent compared to 11.0 percent, respectively.

(Highly) regular work-life imbalance, by family situation and employment status, 2020 (% of workers aged 15-74 yrs)
werk geslacht No child Youngest child aged 12 or under Youngest child aged 13 or over
Part-time Total, Part-time 5.8 8.3 4.8
Part-time Men, Part-time 6.2 8.1 4.8
Part-time Women, Part-time 5.6 8.4 4.8
Full-time Total, Full-time 8.5 11.8 7.9
Full-time Men, Full-time 8.4 11.0 7.0
Full-time Women, Full-time 8.9 16.2 11.8

Occupational groups with (very) frequent imbalances

The experienced work-life imbalance also differs depending on a person’s profession. In 2020, an imbalance was most common among deck officers, pilots, cooks and lorry drivers. Approximately 1 in 5 of them experienced a work-life imbalance often or very often. The occupational groups that most frequently experienced an imbalance are often those with relatively long working weeks, irregular shifts or longer periods away from home.

The questions

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