86% of people say work jeopardizes their attempts to stay healthy

New research from FlexJobs found that a whopping 86% of people say that work gets in the way of their attempts to lead healthy lives.

How people feel about their own work-life balance also seems to be trending downward, with just 30% reporting that they’re “satisfied” with it, versus 45% who said the same thing three years prior. Also, more people feel “stressed” about how much work-life balance they have today (37%), compared to three years ago (29%).

Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs, commented on the shift:

“Poor work-life balance continues to be a major, chronic issue for today’s workforce, and despite more conversations about the topic, the problem seems to be getting worse,” she said. “Employers really need to pay attention when the overwhelming majority of workers say that work flexibility would make their lives better is combined with the fact that flexible work has proven bottom-line benefits to companies.

“It is very clear that the further adoption of flexible work arrangements can provide healthier and more sustainable benefits — economic, health, social, and more — to both workers and organizations.”

That being said, people have very specific expectations for flexible working experiences.

What people think they’ll gain from flexible work

Researchers surveyed more than 1,200 people, almost 33% of whom “had flexible work options already.” The study pinpointed their definition of flexible work as “professional-level jobs that have a telecommuting, flexible schedule, freelance, or part-time component.”

In terms of “romantic relationships,” the research found that 84% of those surveyed believed that having flexible work opportunities would allow them to “be a more attentive spouse/partner/significant other” and 53% thought they’d have more free time for dating.

Regarding “personal health and non-romantic relationships,” 69% said they thought flexible work would help them hit the gym more, 78% thought they’d “be a better friend” and 94% believed it would positively influence their lives.

Where parenting was concerned, of the working participants with kids 18 years of age and younger in their households, 95% believed that “having a job with work flexibility would help them be a better parent.”