Which States Have the Best (and Worst) Work-Life Balance?

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Work-life balance has become a greater priority for professionals in recent years. Younger workers tend to value flexibility. Many employees recognize that long hours in hopes of a slight pay raise or promotion isn’t as valuable as extra time spent with friends and family, traveling and pursuing hobbies. So which states are best for workers looking for work-life balance? Which states should workers avoid if they wish to have a healthy relationship with their jobs? A recent study by Solitaire Bliss analyzed data from the American Time Use survey to determine how each state ranks.

States with The Best Work-Life Balance

The following ten states have the best work-to-leisure ratio. Most also get eight or more hours of sleep per night.

Vermont

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 7.13

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 4.66

North Dakota

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 7.62

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 3.91

Nevada

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 7.71

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 3.8

Wyoming

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 7.21

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 3.54

Utah

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 7.5

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 3.46

Washington

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 7.76

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 3.42

West Virginia

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 8.31

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 3.63

Arizona

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 7.92

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 3.14

Maine 

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 8.15

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 3.2

Connecticut

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 7.08

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 2.74

States with the Worst Work-Life Balance

The residents of every state below work more than 40 hours a week on average and have less than 3 hours of leisure time per weekday.

Idaho

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 8.85

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 1.98

Iowa

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 9.79

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 2.44

Tennessee

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 8.91

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 2.26

Rhode Island

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 10.24

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 2.66

New Mexico

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 9.6

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 2.53

Oklahoma

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 9.92

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 2.69

North Carolina

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 9.01

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 2.57

Massachusetts

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 8.88

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 2.54

New Hampshire

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 8.87

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 2.61

Maryland

Average Hours Worked Per Day: 9.06

Average Leisure Hours Per Workday: 2.74

Methodology

For the study, SolitaireBliss analyzed work and leisure reported in the 2021 American Time Use Survey to determine the states with the best and worst work-life balance. Each category is defined as follows:

  • Work: Work and work-related activities; travel related to work
  • Leisure: Socializing, relaxing and leisure; sports, exercise, and recreation; travel related to socializing; travel related to sports

To qualify, respondents had to be employed, report time working, and have been interviewed about weekday activities. States with five or fewer respondents—Alaska, Delaware, and South Dakota—were disqualified.

View the full study here: https://www.solitairebliss.com/blog/states-work-life-balance

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