Work-life balance has great impact on employee’s overall job satisfaction and performance. The challenge of balancing professional and personal life among physicians and healthcare providers is becoming increasingly difficult.
Work-related stress and job burnout within the medical community is the last M3 Pulse topic and is of high interest and concern, with increasing numbers of reported anxiety, depression, and suicide among healthcare workers around the world during the pandemic.
Read more about Burnout and work-related stress among healthcare workers.
Studies show that almost two-thirds of physicians report experiencing burnout at some point in their career due to professional obligations, unpredictable and long work hours, and the constant weight of responsibility. These factors often make it hard for physicians and healthcare providers to equally prioritize the demands of their career and the demands of their personal life, increasing the risk of fatigue, exhaustion, and stress-related illnesses.
Global statistics from 2021 shows that work-life balance was the most important organizational attribute for employees worldwide, with 51 percent out of 14,000 respondents rating that option more important than career achievement opportunities, employers’ ethics and values, and compensation and benefits. Thus, making it extremely important to understand how satisfied healthcare professionals are with their work-life balance and what is needed to improve their quality of life.
M3 Pulse results; insights from 8,648 healthcare professionals in Europe, USA, and Canada
To find out to what extent healthcare workers are satisfied with the balance between their personal and professional lives, we asked 8,648 M3 Global Research panel members in Europe, USA, and Canada to share their opinions in our monthly M3 Pulse survey.
The results of this M3 Pulse came back with Canada being the most dissatisfied with their work-life balance with 62% saying that they would like to see an improvement and 50% in USA.
In Europe, the dissatisfaction rate ranged from 47% to 60% with England being the most unpleased 60%, followed by Germany and France with 51%. Italy and Spain indicated 49% and 47% dissatisfaction respectively.
On the contrary, only 17% across all countries indicates that they have a very good work-life balance with USA being most satisfied with 20%, Canada 16% and Europe 15%.
Knowing the importance of having a well-balanced life which effects job satisfaction, performance, and mental wellness among healthcare providers, these are concerning numbers.
What is the relationship between work-life balance and job satisfaction in the medical community?
Life balance is defined by psychologists as a division of focus, energy and time spent between the different aspects of a person’s life, especially family, friends, and work. Most people feel more satisfied and happier when there is a healthy balance between these aspects – how that balance structure look like however, is individual.
Learn more about Work-Life balance for healthcare professionals from a different M3 Pulse and how to achieve it.
Too much emphasis on work frequently results in employees feeling frustrated, stressed, and dissatisfied. If this continues for longer periods of time, it can cause feelings of isolation, loneliness and exhaustion which may lead to burnout and depression. This is an important highlight when looking into job satisfaction and the mental wellness of healthcare professionals, since the nature of their work and working conditions in many countries often don´t allow them to recover properly. In many other professions there are cycles of hectic and stressful phases during the year which takes toll on employees’ work-life balance periodically. In the medical community however, those demanding cycles that requires more focus, energy, and time from the employee tend to be longer, even continuous in some cases. Thus, putting physicians and other healthcare providers at higher risk of depression and mental illness.
To have a well establishes support system is key. The amount of support one receives from family, friends, colleagues, and employers has great impacts one ones coping capabilities and work productivity. Statistics from American Psychological Association (APA), show that companies without systems to support the well-being of their employees have higher turnover, lower productivity, and higher healthcare costs. A system that supports work-life balance is beneficial for both the employer and the employee.
Five ways how to improve job satisfaction and avoid work-related stress in healthcare:
- Increase focus on provider engagement; by building processes and taking action to listen, understand and implement solutions to address work environment issues.
- Show your providers you appreciate them; by developing a different kind of appreciation programs.
- Create opportunities for feedback; by creating space and available resources for employees to express their concerns and needs so that healthcare professionals can take the best possible care of the patients that they were trained to do.
- Encourage peer-to-peer coaching and create social opportunities; by implementing a mixture of engaging tools that will help people feel they are listened to, appreciated, and build camaraderie between employees.
- Build a culture of safety and open communication; constantly asking questions to understand what the barriers are, making concentrated efforts to correct issues identified, and can keep communicating back to your workforce that you’re doing that, which helps everybody feel like they’re included in the process.
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