Work-Life Balance in Australia

Monday, January 15, 2018


It was January 1948 that the Commonwealth Arbitration Court gave official ascent 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 alluded 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


Data: sleepcycle.com

Reporting: smh.com.au

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

Mentoring the Next Generations

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Teachers, employers and parents want to see younger people reach their potential, however the problem is that the pathway to productivity and living a life of high capacity and great quality is not a straight line for Gen Y and Gen Z’s. In an era of increasing change, greater complexity and global mega-trends these younger generations need mentors to grow them, guide them and give them the feedback they need to develop and mature.

At McCrindle we know these younger generations and we believe in their potential to achieve greatness. Managers, CEO’s, team leaders, teachers and parents have a unique opportunity to mentor these younger generations through formal and informal conversations. Gen Y and Z’s are keen be mentored. That means they want to be listened to, not lectured at, encouraged and asked open-ended questions that help their decision making process.

The goal of mentoring young people is to expand their values and worldview, strengthen their character and enlarge their personal and professional capacity. These younger generations desire opportunities for personal growth through a friendly and supportive partnership.

Mentors and leaders in society today have an opportunity to shape these younger generations. The challenge mentors often face is around how to turn general conversations into character and skill development.

7 Developmental Areas mentors need to cover

PRIORITIES: Help these generations focus amongst digital distractions

RESILIENCE: Highlight their current experience and strengths to provide assurance in anxious moments

AUTHENTICITY: Showcase the benefits of community in and above digital connectivity

INSIGHT: Provide greater vision to make wise life decisions

ENERGY: Encourage decisiveness to remove blockers, overcome obstacles and move forward

BALANCE: Teach them how to say a positive 'no' in a busy ‘yes’ work/life culture, to maintain a healthy lifestyle

GREATNESS: Inspire the best in these young people as they move through the transitional stages of life.


Geoff Brailey speaking on this topic at the Australian Communities Forum 2016

Understanding the next generation of volunteers and donors

A specific area of focus in the 2016 Australian Communities Report is analysis of volunteers and supporters aged under 30 and in this session, Geoff Brailey, Research Executive at McCrindle Research, will share the findings as well as give practical insights on engaging young people in community organisations and developing the leadership capacity of the next generation of staff and volunteers.

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