Read more

Does improved work-life balance improve life satisfaction? 

Since the launch of “work-style reform” as a key government initiative, we often hear about “work-life balance.” This “work-life balance” refers to how well people balance their jobs with their private lives. 

A job is indispensable for earning the money to pay for living expenses. It is also where people achieve personal growth and contribute to society. On the other hand, however, it is important that people have time to spend with their families and to pursue their personal interests. 
Achieving a good balance between your job and your personal life is thought to contribute to a sense of motivation and happiness in life.

Professor Noda from the Department of Business Economics in the School of Management has analyzed the impact of a variety of lifestyle factors on men and women’s life satisfaction using data from 34 different OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.
He felt that by using data from such a large number of countries, it would help to identify common characteristics among advanced nations and, thereby, ensure the findings were of benefit to more countries.

Strong relationship between leisure time and life satisfaction for men

Much of the emphasis on work-life balance policy has historically been focused on women. This is because of the challenges women face in balancing a job with marriage, pregnancy, childbirth, child rearing, etc.

However, Professor Noda believes that it is essential to focus on improving men’s life satisfaction levels as well. 
The results of his analysis show that the relationship between leisure time and life satisfaction is even stronger for men than women. This is a new finding that contradicts previous conventional wisdom.

These results suggest the importance, within the context of labor policy development, of focusing on improving men’s work-life balance as well. By improving levels of life satisfaction, job productivity will also likely be improved.

In our modern age, we are seeing rapid development in AI (artificial intelligence), smart technology, robotics and more. These developments are changing our world, and this surely also means significant change to our work environments. 
Professor Noda is continuing his research to see how these anticipated work environment changes will impact work-life balance.

School of Management Department of Business Economics
Professor Hideo NODA

■ Main research content

Fields of research encompass macroeconomics and applied econometrics.

Recommended Initiatives