The modern 40-hour workweek was established at the end of the Great Depression, when the Fair Labor Standards Act introduced the standard workweek, minimum wage, and overtime pay in order to protect workers and increase job security.
Still, responsibilities at many jobs can extend outside of the office and beyond normal working hours. This can make it difficult for employees to both carry out their duties and maintain full and healthy personal lives. On the other hand, there are a number of occupations that are conducive to maintaining a favorable work-life balance.
To identify the jobs with the best work-life balance, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed occupational data from jobs review website Glassdoor’s 29 Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance report. In the report, Glassdoor identified the jobs in which workers can expect to maintain healthy personal lives separate from work.
Jobs with the best work-life balance range from part-time to full-time positions and offer both high and low salaries. In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Glassdoor career expert Allison Berry explained that in jobs with the best work-life balance employees can set their own schedules and choose the hours they wish to work. “It’s not necessarily about working 40 hours a week, but giving employees greater flexibility in planning their own schedule,” Berry said.
For example, data scientists often work longer workweeks, yet have one of the best work-life balance ratings of any occupation. As Berry explained, this is likely because “data scientists are typically in high demand, and have a lot of flexibility in setting their own hours.”
According to Berry, there are a number of high-tech positions currently in high demand. UX designers, UI designers, and mobile developers are in higher demand and have greater work-life balance “because almost every company out there now has a web presence, mobile presence, and is collecting data.” When such skills are in high demand, employers have reason to provide incentives such as flexible workings hours.
Tech companies typically offer a lot of benefits and perks that make it a little bit easier to balance your personal life and work, such as having an on-site gym or flexible scheduling,” Berry said. Of the 29 best jobs for work-life balance, 10 are high-tech positions. More broadly, jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are likely to be high-skill jobs in high demand. The majority of the 29 jobs with the best work-life balance are STEM jobs.
The average work-life balance rating across all occupations is 3.2, which is down from 3.5 in 2009. The drop in work-life balance, according to Berry, is due to the increasing connectivity between workers and work. “People feel like they are constantly on call and connected 24/7. So people are often putting in extra hours on nights, weekends, and even while on vacation.”
To identify the jobs with the best work-life balance, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed occupational data from Glassdoor’s 29 Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance report. To be considered, an occupation needed at least one work-life balance rating from a minimum of 75 different companies, at least twice as many reviews of the occupation as there are listings for it. In addition, at least 20% of the job’s reviews on Glassdoor, had to include positive mention of work-life balance. There are at least 29 jobs that meet these criteria with a rating of 3.7 out of five or higher.
These are the 29 jobs with the best work-life balance.