Work-Life Balance in Australia

Monday, January 15, 2018

It was January 1948 that the Commonwealth Arbitration Court gave official assent to the 40 hour, five day working week in Australia.

The public push for this work-life balance often included the symbol of ‘888’ with the accompanying statement of the daily ideal: 8 hours’ work, 8 hours’ recreation and 8 hours of sleep. However, 70 years on, it seems that this balance has eluded most Australians.

When it comes to discretionary time that is not allocated to either paid or unpaid work (such as housework and caring responsibilities), working Australians are enjoying around 3.5 hours per day.

Across every age group, Australian men have more leisure time, on average per day, than women. The average adult male in Australia has 34 minutes more leisure time than the average female which equates to 4 hours per week.

The 2016 Census data shows that we are still working long hours in paid employment too. Of those with a job, 2 in 5 are working beyond the 8-hour day, and way beyond it when commute time is included.

The resulting time pressure and stress, particularly amongst women

Women feel more stressed and pressed for time than men in Australia, with 35% of Australian men and 42% of Australian women in this ABS study released in September 2017 stating that they were always or often rushed or pressed for time.

Women are almost five times more likely than men to feel this way due to demands of family.

Men are as likely to feel no time pressure as constant time pressure. Women are much more likely to often/always feel rushed and pressed for time than to never/rarely feel this.

Eight hours of sleep? Closer to seven



Women outworking men in total time spent in work

Over the last decade, women have increased their paid work hours while men have plateaued here. While men have marginally increased their unpaid weekly work hours, it has done little to close the gap with women.

Total time spent working (paid and unpaid) by women in Australia significantly exceeds that of men in couple households, regardless of whether the woman earns more, less or the same as the man.

Watch Mark McCrindle's full interview on Ten News Here

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


charities donation christian aged care Western Australia middle class equip future generations future proofing global generaion ABS news lalor park cica Australian community trends dreams showreel Real Estate Institute of Victoria housing growth know the times socialising rule keeper bus year 7 trends analyst christmas household tv CPI education generation Macquarie University workplace Valentine’s Day GPO Generation X care support sports 2013 2016 census financial Northern Beaches Christian School commute consumer rising house prices researcher the great screenage food insecurity communicate typical australian slideshare speaker fresh hills shire newspaper 1994 Aussies data analysis trends of 2016 australian real estate christmas 2017 Vocational education easter new york times high density living millionth Mark McCrindle focus groups cost women social issues presentation government demography Australia street business commuters Kirsten Brewer ACT thrive spend futurist sun income New South Wales Jura Coffee Northern beaches Event Merry Christmas future-proof office opening parenting recap local census case study socialites student ease of travel economic conference Skilling students Christmas data results online shopping high density apartments post rationalism hills Performance Sentiment Index daily commute future proof cold cartodb the changing face of house prices energy millenials men megatrends cloudy days unemployment baby names report Mark McCrindle in the media crime growth of sydney friends social lives gig maiden names Social Trend mortgage cancel plans participants optus World Water Day royal influence study ferry unaffordable families McCridle relational 1995 customer ageing population easy rider stay home education future report social analysis house young people aussie culture 2016 census results seasons greetings 10 years average Australian visualisation dessert innovation younger generations faux-cilise balance screenage office space kate middleton village marketing learning styles events rental stress housing trends tableau curiosity mythbusting child care affordability Australian Families state quote sunburnt country church report growing population owning a home woolworths offenders urban living index prince george professional development educhat transport darwin program in the media winter blues toys residents Christmas season hunger Australians FPA house price video Queensland: QLD Australian Bureau of Statistics clothing educated eliane social analyst retirement NT Christmas Stats demographic analysis wealth distribution social media australian communities trends report NBRS REIV National Conference TED talk Aussie media Christmas day weather Australian Population community engagement workplace culture waverton townhouses HR australia dare to dream school students annual income rain employmee urban development leader culture demographic forecasting 2020 selfie cash census results narcissism Scouts society trends Love public speaking children demographic trends hobart faux-ciliser language culturally diverse conference speaker financial independence aged care puzzle Real Estate visual city Black Friday etiquette leadership relevant workforce REIV Conference new office wealth and income distribution mccrinlde faith and belief SA mentor forecast authenticity Work place keynote speaker internship urban rent casual belief TAS year 12 skills interactive economy global financial crisis population growth System's Architect population house price rise infographic moreton bay micro crows nest research services acf15 average aussie business performance overcast product Financial Planning Association HSC Bathburst father's day greatness grave decision trends of 2017 entrepreneurial baby names australia report media release renting workshop career communities ultimo business index Caregiver moderators guide ethnography Financial Planning Week investing daily telegraph ideas US impact trends teaching life 23 million NSW marrickville census fail WA SMSF growth grandparents Do It Yourself resource keynote global generations leadership workshop Australia Day not-for-profit work-life speajer mccrindle research travel TED social researcher communications australian community trends report cancelling event living baby names sydneysider coffee Gen X motivate sydney market trend tuesday financial future Canberra australian social research professional speaker Hills Shire Council Christmas presents entrepreneur sector stats Sydney Lifestyle Study investor Australian demographics area baby boomers rich pharmacy bondi financial dreams optus my business awards medicine staff royal family schools students Northern Beaches geomapping contiki huffington post potts point suburb employers education future trades population map Research Executive water Engineering Manager religion buildings mining boom youth lifestyle environment screenagers intern social commentary ageing ashley mckenzie Gen Z Expert plans 40 million The Daily Edition investment Generation Y in depth interviews engagement Business analysis goals click 1975 Wellington child hunger purpose list property price Financial Planning Association of Australia #censusfail millennials weekly earnings australian volunteers story Sydney keynote speaker bureau brisbane goal domestic communication 2015 public speaker engage baby criminal dreaming going out baby name trends shopping speakers pack social trends Retail "know the times" February 16 urban taskforce blaxland environmental scanning Australian Census happiness brand real research visualisation education sector debt the hills shire Australian Communities Trends Sydney population Mount Annan-Currant Hill ashley fell 2017 infographic wall innovative high school wealth inequality teach Lower Hunter Region menai google learner social shifts earning money mythbusters training poor responsive home ownership deloitte royal research data divorce VIC 24 million social impact who is generation z speakers wage mother's day cultural diveristy pyrmont entrepreneurs of today tertiary education trend micro apartments low density holiday change land of the middle class apartment princess charlotte storytelling Cobbitty-Leppington mccrindle tea social change national private wealth volunteer award politics census data safe Australian Dream Willowdale perth volunteering debate high density neutral bay sydney metro national crime rates the australian dream weather group donate jobs long weekend hornsby research pack VET sector survey design learning Jura Australia IT Specialists baby name predictions James Ward affordable NFP event What is food insecurity? charity Lower Hunter teachers proactive litter focus group the lucky country social research Elderslie-Harrington park digital baby boom do people still change their surname after marriage? digital economy earnings Christmas in Australia online internships train divorce rate SRE NBRS Architecture research on coffee Hunter Valley Melbourne Queensland census 2016 priorities population milestone christmas trees Black Friday Sales youth unemployment professional Gen Y panel identity summer friendship wellbeing nfp mccrindle in the media faux-cilising leadersip organisations financial planning work Netflix norwest shifts social researchers young australians TEDx Speaker live the dream india marriages generational trends South Australia personal growth ipswich baby name emerging generations collaboration society vegemite Foodbank Australia the hills forum commuting wages schools increasing densification sydney hills mateship finance couple property surnames omnibus Australian Home cooking optimistic sophie renton qualitative research Assistant Store Manager family Maxim Accounting small business states university sector wide study sustainable seasons not for profit research New Zeland define generation alpha Tasmania sentiments property development ACF 2016 tea car brands Population Clock meetings home social Territory royal baby social enquiry names shopping centre logan twentyseventeen christianity suburbs property market networking The ABC of XYZ outsourcing holidays australian communities forum event mover and shaker poker master global retail analysis anzac food repayments Royals apartments sydneycity media activity parents SMART victoria Christchurch staying in fears maiden emerging trends monarchy Christmas day USA pharmacies financial fears salary Channel 7 dream Channel Seven Deaths organisational culture china mccrindle future of work Andrew Duffin healthy future Duchess of Cambridge community event cost of living spirituality internet surname ACF2017 Wagga Wagga coffee lovers insights tuesday earn Adelaide university degree giving rumbling tummies thought leadership cars 2012 winter emerging technologies DIY volunteering data collaborative changing face of sydney consumerism happy holidays eliane miles celebration average sydneysider McCrindle Keynote Speakers Northern Territory Australian schools Geoff Brailey demographer employment NEETs 2014 media commentary meals teleworking 24,000,000 group session google for education CBD gold coast conference presentation local community sydney speaker choice workers sector wide ACF17 Black Friday in Australia food bank hopes employmer EFF Sydney market research public holiday shbc work from home Hornsby Shire Council Kiwi gen z VET non profit groceries community experience McCrindle Speakers research australians staying home more local communities follow sydneysiders supply and demand Education Future Forum breakfast TDE mobile Res Vis housing demographics gender Christmas lunch entertainment housing affordability office housing market careers world youth day Sydney Hills Business Chamber future of education professional services ACT Report marriage urban living cancelling plans national wealth personalities vegetarian school survey world presentations builders hello fresh tattoos gen alpha resilience data insight graphs generation Z chairty facts households alpha DESTEL the average aussie faith Australian communities English suburban living Charlotte Births Christmas research JOMO wealth Sydney’s south west award winner research report 2009 teacher not for profit global generation professional presenters wealth and income Understanding and Engaging with Generation Z Crime Rates shopper's pick future Wodonga TEDx Word Up data visualisation school satisfaction Tuesday Trend sydney event indonesia statistics social commentator Myth conferences nativity scene 1968 wedding wolloomooloo the future sydney property market brand experience challenge data analyst FOMO infographics January 26th McCrindle Speaker work mates manly cultural diversity global capital cities ACF renter of the future jobs of the future gig economy publication paying to work future of shopping learn 1980 education research Australian Trends Australia Day 2017 Tuesday Trends demographic transformations home owner New Zealand capital city public transport generations travelling budget 2016 Millennial Research Director PSI snapshot social life rise of local technology tips sunny days