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Is tech to thank or to blame for work-life balance changes in recent years?

4 Sep 2023

Research by LinkedIn and Censuswide found that Irish workers are split between thinking tech helps them get their work done and renders them unable to switch off.

Technology’s role in the emergence of flexible working models over the past few years should not be underestimated, according to Irish workers surveyed by LinkedIn and Censuswide recently.

The survey of workers’ attitudes towards hybrid work and work-life balance was carried out with 1,128 workers in Ireland aged 18 and above between 24 and 29 March 2023.

The majority (60pc) of those surveyed said it is easier to maintain a healthy work-life balance now than it was at the beginning of the millennium. Of that number, 43pc said technology is an asset when it comes to enabling flexible work practices that promote a positive work-life balance. They said it was easier for them to get their work done during contracted hours thanks to the amount of tech tools out there.

However, 21pc of workers said they do not believe that achieving a positive work-life balance is easier today. Some of the reasons they provided include the emergence of a ‘grind’ culture, which 40pc of those with a negative outlook on today’s world of work believe encourages overworking and side hustles.

Half of the respondents who think it’s harder to maintain a positive work-life balance nowadays think that this is because technology means people are contactable outside of working hours. And 38pc said that work-from-home models mean people are finding it difficult to avoid the pressure to keep working outside of work hours.

Workers’ attitudes towards learning and skills were also uncovered by the survey. Two thirds of workers said they think it’s easier to switch careers now than it was two decades ago, while 53pc said that having a college degree is less important now than it used to be. The majority (63pc) believe that it’s more important to have a good skillset for a job than it is to have a university degree.

“The world of work has rapidly evolved over the last twenty years,” said Lisa Finnegan, VP, international HR business partner at LinkedIn.

“There are jobs that didn’t exist and many of us spend at least part of our time working from home. This change, combined with other trends like Ireland effectively reaching full employment, means that we have the chance to create a more diverse workforce by tackling issues like gender representation at senior levels and giving opportunities to people who face difficulties entering the job market.”

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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