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Work-life balance

Posted June. 08, 2017 07:13,   

Updated June. 08, 2017 07:19


There is one question never missed from an interview with successful working mothers. “How do you balance work and family?” It has always been a challenge for working mothers to keep a healthy balance between work and life, especially while raising children. This might be the reason why the government is dealing with work-life balance through political approaches and calling for a new culture or environment to achieve gender equality.

Work-life balance has become a new trend among younger generations in Korea. According to a story featured in the Dong-A Ilbo Wednesday, some people are moving far away from the city to Jeju Island with a hope of work-life balance. Mr. A is working at a resort after he quit a stable and decent job. A couple is managing a guest house after leaving Seoul. They said they chose to have a life with more free time in nature, even though they make less money. They said they were happier.

After a new digital era was ushered in, people are struggling more to balance work and life. For example, workers are connected online 24/7 with their smart devices after work or even in the weekend, and are self-mockingly describing themselves as prisoners held in a jail or sinners living in a hell. According to a recent survey by Korea’s online job portal Job Korea, eight out of 10 workers have responded that they have failed to maintain a good pace. When asked about what they have lost from it, health and work-life balance topped the ranking. According to OECD’s Better Life Index in 2016, Korea ranked 36th among 38 countries for work-life balance, followed by Turkey and Mexico. Furthermore, 23.1 percent of Korean workers are spending more than 50 hours in average at work in a week, a huge contrast to the average of 13 percent among OECM member countries.

Free time after work is very essential to keep a good balance between work and life. However, Korean employers tend to put a more emphasis on duties as employees than a personal life. It should be highlighted that productivity is highly correlated to a balanced life. Forbes has introduced tips for work-life balance: “get rid of perfectionism,” “turn off mobile devices,” “prioritize your life” and “have your own time.” Both society and individual must change to pursue a balanced life.