Think as a woman you’ve got this work/life balance thing figured out? That’s not the case for most women.The Captivate Office Pulse Survey on Work-Life Balance shows some surprising statistics revealing that men are more likely to be happy at both work and at home than women.
Of the 673 workers surveyed, the men were 25 per cent happier at work and 8 per cent happier at home than women.
Even though the men worked more time at the office, they were happier. Men work, on average, 8.8 hours a day, while women, just behind, work about 8.4.
But here’s the caveat: This happiness factor (or lack thereof) is true for most women. For “Alpha mums,” it turns out they are happier professionally than their beta women counterparts! The study defines an Alpha mum as a working woman, aged 32 to 54, with children under 18 at home, and a household income more than $50,000.
She’s ambitious, organised, resourceful, and has an entrepreneurial spirit. Overall, the Captivate Network study showed that men claim to have more work-life balance and to be happier workers in general, but of the women polled, it’s the Alpha mum who is happier than other women. This is mainly attributed to Alpha mums having more support at home and their priority to organise work and personal time.
The Gender War at Home Continues
Perhaps part of the happiness equation at home comes from the fact that women still do more housework than their spouses. They’re shopping for groceries, doing laundry, and cooking. The study shows that Alpha women, however, are less likely than other women to do these chores around the house. In fact, where 59 per cent of the average women surveyed do laundry, only 43 per cent of the Alphas get their whites whiter. What do they know that other women don’t?
When It Affects Your Health
We all know there’s a link between stress and health. So it’s no surprise, given this information, that men tend to be healthier, since they’re happier. Women, on the other hand, feel more stress, get more headaches, more muscle tension, and gain more weight in response to stress than men.
So Why Can’t Women Relax?
Men seem to have the relaxing thing down pat. They’re 25 per cent more likely than women to take a break during a workday to pursue personal activities, such as a long lunch, walking or exercise, or just a “relax” break.
No matter if you’re a man, woman or Alpha mum, strive for work and life balance in everything you do. Here is how:
• Divide the chores at home
• Take more vacations
• Spend time relaxing: Read, watch TV, play with family, walk
• When work day is done, unplug mentally and physically from work
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As for being an Alpha mum, many of the psychological characteristics are probably something innate, but here are some things they do that other women don’t. Start trying to incorporate more of these activities into your schedule and maybe you’ll start to see better balance:
• 60 per cent of Alpha mums make weekly to-do lists
• 91 per cent prioritise their projects
• 45 per cent take walks
• 50 per cent shop online during the day
• 69 per cent take a break to relax
• 48 per cent go out to lunch
Rather than slogging away, trying to finish that final report for the day, instead try taking a walk around the office to clear your head and relax. Make sure to get out of your office, if not the building, on your lunch break. A quick change in a different environment can give you the energy you need to happily continue on with your day.
At home, stop thinking about work. It will be there tomorrow. Focus on your family (you know what they say about kids: they don’t stay little long) and take time for yourself. By overworking ourselves at home and on the job, we don’t do ourselves any favours.