Why Is Work-Life Balance so Important? (19 Reasons + Expert Insights)

In today’s fast-paced world, finding a good balance between work and personal life is more important now than ever. We often hear about work-life balance, but what does it really mean?

We all juggle our jobs, families, and personal interests every day. When we don’t strike the right balance, it can harm our health, happiness, and productivity. Simply put, work-life balance reminds us to also live while we make a living.

We wanted to know just how important work-life balance is to people, so we partnered with Branded Research to conduct a custom poll. They asked 10,748 U.S. Working Adults “Is work-life balance important to you?

Here’s the result:


Overall, the poll found that the vast majority of U.S. working adults say work-life balance is important.

Approximately, 57% of U.S. working adults say that work-life balance is important because it gives them more time with their families.

Younger working adults are more likely than older working adults to say that work-life balance is important because it gives them time for self-care.

While older working adults are more likely than younger working adults to say that work-life balance is important because it gives them time to stay healthy.

Work-Life Balance Poll Result

So, if you’re feeling stuck in an endless cycle of work and stress, this article is for you! I’ll tell you why finding a healthy balance between work and life is so important and how it can transform your life.

Reduces Stress and Burnout

When we don’t have a healthy work-life balance, we often work long hours, take on too many responsibilities, and neglect our personal lives. This constant pressure can overwhelm us, leaving us exhausted and emotionally drained.

That’s where work-life balance comes in. By making time for activities outside of work, you give yourself the opportunity to step away from work-related pressures and recharge. This could mean:

  • Setting clear boundaries between work and personal time.
  • Taking regular breaks throughout the workday.
  • Using your vacation days to unplug and relax.
  • Engaging in stress-reducing activities like exercise, meditation, or hobbies.

Over time, this balanced approach helps reduce your stress levels and prevents the physical and emotional exhaustion associated with burnout. You’ll be more energized, focused, and motivated to tackle work challenges.

"The stress caused by work causes physiological reactions, and we need work-life balance to undo these reactions. In response to stress, the body’s autonomic nervous system and hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis get activated which allows the body to adapt to the pressures and stressors it faces.

This is bad for us and can lead to long-term health problems such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer. Work-life balance helps to undo this wear and tear.

[...] If people are able to recover effectively from the job-related stress during their leisure time, the long-term effects of stress are reduced or eliminated."

Jamie Gruman, Ph.D. | Psychologist | University Professor | Author, Boost: The Science of Recharging Yourself in an Age of Unrelenting Demands

Improves Physical Health

Sitting at a desk all day or working overtime can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, which is not great for your body. When you balance your time well, you can make room for regular exercise, healthy eating, and adequate rest—all of which are essential for keeping your body in great shape.

Consistently prioritizing these aspects of health can lead to long-term improvements in your physical condition, making it easier to fulfill your work duties and enjoy personal time without health-related interruptions.

Boosts Mental Well-being

As we talked about earlier, work-life balance is important for reducing stress and preventing burnout. But it also has a significant impact on your overall mental well-being.

Some ways that a healthy work-life balance can boost your mental well-being include:

  • Allowing you to nurture supportive relationships with family and friends.
  • Providing opportunities for creative expression and personal growth.
  • Giving you a sense of control and autonomy over your life.
  • Reducing feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, and depression.

When you have time for activities and relationships outside of work and are in a good mental state, you’re better equipped to handle stress, make good decisions, and be your best self both at work and in your personal life.

"Being as serious about your personal time as you are the quality of work you produce during work hours is the only way to rebel a little against the technological revolution that would much prefer you to be 'on' all the time. 

Beyond that, it's the only way to protect what matters most: your own mental well-being."

— Kris Hughes | Senior Content Marketing Manager, ProjectManager

Promotes Better Sleep Quality

A well-maintained work-life balance often leads to better sleep. Setting clear boundaries between work hours and personal time prevents work stress from invading your evening and nighttime routine.

This might look like shutting off your work email notifications after a certain time, practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation, or simply allowing yourself to enjoy screen-free time before bed.

I can’t overstate how important quality sleep is for your overall health and well-being. When you get enough restful sleep, you’re more likely to feel energized, focused, and mentally sharp during the day.

Enhances Ability to Focus

When our work and personal lives are out of balance, focusing on the task at hand can be incredibly challenging. But when you have a healthy work-life balance, you’re able to be more present and focused in each area of your life. At work, this means:

  • Being able to fully engage with your tasks and responsibilities.
  • Having the mental clarity to solve problems and make decisions.
  • Feeling less distracted by personal life stressors or demands.

Having a good work-life balance in your personal life allows you to be more present with your loved ones, hobbies, and self-care activities. A well-rested and less stressed mind simply performs better, leading to improved focus across all areas of life.

"For a long time, I think society tricked us into believing that we were machines and that work was all that mattered. But I argue that if we’re high-functioning machines, we need to make sure we have time for maintenance in order to stay successful.

[...] When I’m working, I am intensely focused. When I’m not [working], I can commit to taking time for myself without fear of backlash from my workplace! I then return to work feeling well-rested, clear-headed, and ready to tackle my next project."

— Alison Haselden | SEO Consultant, CanIRank

Increases Productivity

Believe it or not, a balanced life actually makes you more productive. You might think working longer hours leads to getting more done, but that’s rarely the case. When we’re constantly on the go without taking time to recharge, our efficiency drops.

But having a good work-life balance can actually boost your productivity in several ways:

Set clear work boundariesImproved concentration
Schedule regular breaksReduced fatigue
Dedicate time to hobbiesIncreased personal satisfaction

So, while it might seem counterintuitive, prioritizing work-life balance can actually make you more productive in the long run. It’s all about working smarter, not harder and giving yourself the time and space you need to perform at your best.

"[...] being productive isn’t about doing more. Productivity is about doing the most important things well. And on top of that, it’s not about doing what’s urgent—the important is almost never urgent.

I started using the extra time for “life” rather than work activities. I spent more time relaxing and more time with friends. [...] when I started reflecting at the end of each day, I saw my productivity go up. I got the most important things done quicker and earlier in the day."

— Katie McIntyre | Campaign Manager at Monk Manual

Enhances Creativity and Innovation

Having a healthy work-life balance allows you to explore new ideas and tap into your creative potential. I mean, think about it—when was the last time you had a brilliant idea while staring at your computer screen for hours on end? Probably never, right?

That’s because our brains need a break from the daily grind to recharge and make new connections. When you pursue hobbies, take a walk in nature, or simply allow yourself to daydream, you’re allowing your mind to wander and explore.

You might suddenly come up with a solution to a problem that’s been bothering you at work or have a flash of inspiration for a new project. What’s more, when you’re not constantly stressed and overworked, you can better approach challenges with a fresh perspective.

You’ll be more open to taking risks, trying new things, and collaborating with others—all of which are important in enhancing innovation.

"My best thinking takes place when I’m relaxed and in a good state of mind. If I’m exhausted from having stayed up late the previous night working, then almost always less productive the following day. 

The less stressed and energized you are, the more creative you will be and the higher quality of work you will produce."

— James Feldstein | President and Owner of AudioDen

Provides Time for Self-care and Relaxation

In today’s hustle culture, it’s easy to feel like we need to be “on” all the time. But here’s the truth: taking care of yourself should not be a luxury. When you have a good work-life balance, you have more opportunities to practice self-care and prioritize relaxation.

This could mean different things for different people:

  • For some, it’s about quiet evenings with a book or calming music.
  • Others might find a yoga session or a long bath the perfect way to unwind.
  • For the busy bees, simply doing nothing might be the ultimate relaxation.

Relaxation boosts your mental resources, helps maintain emotional stability, and ensures that you remain motivated and energized for daily challenges. Remember, when you feel good, you perform better at work and in your personal life.

"Everyone needs a break, so things like date night, family dinners together and time for just checking in with each other is more important than ever.

[...] everyone needs something that relaxes and replenishes them whether it is exercise, dinner with friends, a hobby or just reading a book. [...] It can be done—it just needs to be thoughtfully planned out and executed."

Dr. Gayle Carson, CSP CMC FIMC | Author | Columnist | Radio Show Host

Encourages Healthier Lifestyle Choices

When you’re not always running on deadline, you have time to plan and prepare nutritious meals instead of grabbing takeout. Consider the impact of these choices:

  • Making time for exercise: Regular physical activity boosts endorphins, improves mood, and decreases feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
  • Choosing healthier meals: You can plan nutritious meals that benefit your body.
  • Ensuring enough rest: Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial for mental and physical health.

Adopting these habits can significantly affect your health and overall quality of life. It’s not merely about adding years to your life but adding life to your years. When work doesn’t consume all your energy, you have the time to make choices that enhance your well-being, making you healthier.

"If you make the right choices during your leisure time you can achieve work-life balance, avoid allostatic load and get a boost, which means you feel better, are healthier and avoid long-term health problems, and get better at your job."

Jamie Gruman, Ph.D. | Psychologist | University Professor | Author, Boost: The Science of Recharging Yourself in an Age of Unrelenting Demands

Reduces Risk of Chronic Health Issues

One of the best ways to prevent chronic health issues is by maintaining a good work-life balance. I mean, think about it: when you’re constantly stressed, overworked, and running on empty, your body is in a state of tiredness.

And over time, that tiredness can lead to serious health problems. But when you prioritize balance and self-care, you’re giving your body the rest and nourishment it needs to stay healthy for the long haul.

You’re more likely to make time for exercise, eat a balanced diet, and get enough sleep—all of which are crucial for reducing your risk of chronic disease.

"When our bodies are not in balance and we have no work life balance—our bodies are in a constant state of fight or flight. It causes higher blood pressure, high heart rate, increased anxiety/depression, lower immune system, insomnia, and disease. 

When our bodies are relaxed, when we have balance, our breath is slower, our heart rate slower, lower blood pressure, a higher immune system to fight disease and illness, we sleep better and we are more at joy and happiness. Our thoughts are clear."

Tara Atwood | Wellness Entrepreneur | Co-founder of Amber Blue

Strengthens Relationships and Family Bonds

As humans, we’re wired for connection, and our relationships with family and loved ones are some of our most important connections. But when work takes over our lives, those relationships can suffer.

You might cancel plans, miss important milestones, or simply not be present when you’re with the people you care about. That’s where work-life balance comes in. By making time for the people and activities that matter most to you, you strengthen those bonds.

What does this look like? It could be:

  • Planning family vacations or weekend getaways.
  • Scheduling regular date nights with your partner.
  • Making it a priority to attend your child’s school events or sports games.
  • Simply being fully present and engaged when spending time with loved ones.

Allows Time for Hobbies and Personal Interests

Hobbies provide a necessary break from the work routine, refreshing the mind and helping maintain a higher level of motivation at work.

When did you last make time for a hobby or activity you really enjoy? If it’s been a while, you’re not alone. But here’s the thing: making time for hobbies and passions is productive, just in a different way.

Hobbies, such as painting, cycling, reading, or gardening, provide a creative outlet and actually help you unwind from work-related stress. They also challenge you in different ways, helping you develop new skills and perspectives that can indirectly enhance your professional life.

"It is incredibly important for everyone, whether or not you are an entrepreneur, to take time away from work to recharge and relax.

We live in a world where we are increasingly expected to be ‘on’ through emails, text messages, and social media. We risk major burnout if we continue to keep running without stopping and do not prioritize balance or self-care.

No matter how busy your days or weeks are, take the time to carve out a space of time for yourself to regroup. You can use this time to exercise, meditate, clean (it’s definitely cathartic for some and a great way to stay organized!), read, rest, and spend time with friends and family."

Deborah Sweeney | CEO of MyCorporation

Prevents Workplace Resentment and Frustration

I think it’s important to remember that work is just one part of our lives—and while it’s important, it shouldn’t come at the cost of our overall well-being. Instead of seeing your job as a burden or a source of stress, you can approach it with a more positive mindset.

When we’re constantly overworked and have little time for ourselves, we might start resenting our jobs, colleagues, and even our boss. But when you know that you have time and energy for the things that matter to you outside of work, you don’t feel like your job is stealing your life.

"We are connected to our work 24/7 with our personal devices. I advise people to not sync any business emails or any other accounts that are synced to work to their own devices. Never disconnecting from work can drive people insane.

We all need to wind down at some point every day. [...] I know for some this is not possible so at least set aside an hour or two to unplug from work. You will thank yourself!"

— Tracy Julien | VP of Marketing, GuidedChoice

Helps Maintain Work Enthusanism

Do you remember the excitement and enthusiasm you felt when you first started your job? When work is your entire life, the passion and drive that once fueled you can start to fade out, making you lose sight of what drew you to your career in the first place.

But here’s the good news—by prioritizing work-life balance, you can reignite that spark and maintain enthusiasm for your work in the long run. Think about it this way:

  • Taking a vacation can help you return to work with renewed focus and creative ideas.
  • Pursuing a hobby can teach you new skills that you can apply to your job.
  • Spending quality time with friends and family can improve your overall happiness and job satisfaction.

So, if you want to keep your passion for your work alive, don’t neglect the other parts of your life that bring you joy and fulfillment. By finding that balance, you’ll be better equipped to bring your best self to your job.

"Remind yourself that work isn’t worth your mental and physical health. There is more to life than work. [...] We tell ourselves we have to keep up or we will fall behind. But really, you need to work smarter to stay ahead of the game, not harder and longer.

Work-life balance is possible and absolutely necessary to keep yourself together. You don’t want to wake up 70 years from now with mental and physical health issues, with no one by your side, and no real passions in your life besides work.

Stay true to yourself and respect yourself by giving yourself time to rest and time to be balanced in all aspects of life and work."

— Daniella Flores | Creator and Author of I Like to Dabble

Improves Job Satisfaction and Engagement

Job satisfaction and engagement are directly linked to how well employees can balance their professional and personal lives. Employees who manage to maintain this balance are more satisfied with their jobs because they don’t consistently sacrifice personal time for work.

Some ways to improve job satisfaction and engagement through work-life balance include:

  • Negotiating flexible working hours to increase productivity.
  • Setting clear boundaries around work hours and sticking to them.
  • Taking regular breaks throughout the day to recharge and refocus.
  • Building positive relationships with coworkers and seeking out opportunities for collaboration and growth.

With a balanced mindset about work and life, you’re more likely to enjoy your time on the job and be fully engaged with your work, contributing to a positive workplace for yourself and others.

"I am a recruiter with 20+ years experience. Desiring a better work-life balance is one of the top reasons people want to change jobs.

There are many hiring managers who expect employees to be totally dedicated to their job giving them unmanageable workloads, requiring long work hours, unreasonable travel schedules or discouraging employees from using vacation time.

The financial hit involved for replacing a burned-out employee is very costly and company culture and reputation suffers greatly.

[...] the cause of burnout has less to do with expectations for hard work and performance and more to do with how someone an employee is managed and can be prevented when you focus on the right factors."

Debbie Winkelbauer | Recruiter for Healthcare | Medical Device | Pharmaceutical | Biotech | Chemicals

Fosters a Supportive Work Environment

When employees feel their personal lives are respected and valued, they tend to be more supportive of each other. A company culture that encourages taking breaks, leaving on time, and maintaining work boundaries creates a positive and collaborative atmosphere. Here’s how to foster a supportive environment:

  • Encourage colleagues to take adequate breaks for better focus and collaboration.
  • Support flexible working arrangements that accommodate different life commitments.
  • Celebrate team achievements and acknowledge individual contributions.
  • Respect each other’s personal time.

A supportive environment can manifest in many ways, from colleagues covering for each other during family emergencies to managers encouraging their team members to take time off when needed.

By fostering a culture of work-life balance, companies can create a workplace where everyone feels heard, valued, and empowered to do their best work.

"Employees appreciate it when their leader demonstrates work-life balance... When a leader demonstrates they take work-life balance seriously, their actions loudly proclaim permission to their employees to do likewise."

— Rod Brace, PhD | Author | Chief Learning Officer | Executive Coach | National Speaker

Enables Personal and Professional Growth

Personal growth and professional development are important for long-term success and fulfillment in any career. But when you’re constantly putting in long hours at the office, finding the time or energy to invest in yourself can be hard.

But by making time for activities outside of work—whether taking a class, attending a conference, or simply reading up on industry trends—you’re allowing yourself to learn, grow, and expand your skill set.

And here’s the best part: investing in your own growth and development benefits you personally, makes you more competent, and helps you become a valuable asset to your team and company.

Individuals with work-life balance are often more ambitious and proactive about personal and career development, as they have the time and energy to pursue these opportunities.

"I needed to find my work-life balance before I was able to truly discover my life’s purpose—and now, I wake up each day and tap dance out of bed. I still work hard, but there’s a joy in every moment of the day. As soon as I finish my work, there is a peace that comes from knowing that I did exactly what I was supposed to. 

And now, when I’m 'off-the-clock,' I’m not worrying about unfinished work—I’m living in the moment and appreciating the time I have with loved ones.

You don’t realize how productive you can be until you experience a true balance of your whole person—body, mind, and soul."

— Katie McIntyre | Campaign Manager at Monk Manual

Decreases Absenteeism and Turnover

Let’s face it: when you’re burnt out and stressed to the max, the last thing you want to do is drag yourself into the office. That’s why poor work-life balance is often linked to higher rates of absenteeism and turnover in the workplace.

When employees feel like they have no time for themselves or their loved ones, they’re more likely to call in sick, show up late, or just check out mentally when they are at work. And if the situation doesn’t improve, they may start looking for a new job altogether—leaving their team understaffed and overwhelmed.

But when companies prioritize work-life balance and support their employees’ well-being, people are more likely to show up to work feeling refreshed, engaged, and committed to their roles. They’re also more likely to stick around for the long haul, reducing the costs and disruptions associated with high turnover.

Contributes to Overall Life Satisfaction and Happiness

At the end of the day, work-life balance isn’t just about your job—it’s about your overall quality of life. When you have time for the things that matter most to you, you’re more likely to feel fulfilled, satisfied, and happy in all areas of your life.

This could mean:

  • Having the flexibility to attend your child’s school play or sports game.
  • Being able to take a mental health day when you need it without feeling guilty.
  • Pursuing a passion project or hobby that brings you joy and creative fulfillment.
  • Building strong, supportive relationships with family and friends.

By making room for these moments of joy, connection, and personal growth, you create a life that feels meaningful and worth living. And that sense of overall life satisfaction can have a powerful ripple effect on your work, your relationships, and your sense of self.

"We need to see ourselves both as someone with purpose and as someone who enjoys his or her short time here. That balance is what leads to fulfillment. That balance is what leads to happiness. And that is why that balance is so very important."

Dannie De Novo | Attorney | Coach | Entrepreneur | Podcast host | Author, Get in a Good Mood & Stay There

More Insights from the Experts

“[…] we need a way to unplug our minds and bodies from the daily stress. It’s critical to take time and simply enjoy life. You need a balance to unplug and unwind.

[…] We expect so much achievement of ourselves and our family (just look at all the social media posts that we don’t live up to!). But without proper rest, we are failing to provide the support to be the best possible version of ourselves.”

— Michael W.S. Morton | Fee-only Financial Advisor, Morton Financial Advice

“At the end of the day, having a better work-life balance will benefit everyone (including your employer!). By having lower stress levels and more time to spend with family and friends, you’ll be much more fresh and productive when you are at work. Work at work, don’t work when you’re not at work.

— Jeff Proctor | Personal Finance Expert at Dollar Sprout

“Work-live balance is so important because if you let it, work starts bleeding into your family time, your “me” time, and pretty soon your sleep. You start sacrificing the things you really care about so that you can “send a quick email.”

This blending of work and personal life isn’t good for our careers either. Our brains aren’t made to function like this, and spending so much time plugged in means that pretty soon you start getting burned out.

At my current job, I’m fortunate enough to work for a boss who respects my time out of work. But I also made the decision not to install any work apps or email on my home PC or phone.

This separation allows me to approach each week fresh and ready to tackle whatever challenges it presents, and it means that when I’m at home, I get to enjoy the things I really care about.”

— Jason Bauman | SEO Specialist for MyInjuryAttorney

“I used to work on the weekend. 6 or 7 day work weeks were normal. The realization that working weekends was more counterproductive happened over the course of a few years.

When I happened to get a full weekend off due to rain or job site delays, I noticed the entire crew seemed to be sharper and more upbeat.

[…] I think work-life balance is important in today’s world because we are always one click away from checking our email and being in work mode. It’s critical to set boundaries and prioritize time away from your job commitments.

— Earl Choate | CEO of Concrete Camouflage

Work-life balance is important because it’s essential to your mental health. […] Taking steps to make sure that you don’t work too hard is really important—having a clear separation between work and home life is essential for this.

Always remember that in most cases, it isn’t the end of the world if you reply to a non-urgent email in the morning rather than the evening.”

— Will Craig | Managing Director, LeaseFetcher

“Balance can look differently, depending on how you prioritize family, friends, and professional demands—but in the end, it’s so important to find a system so that you can live a healthy and happy life.

When you are out of sync, you harbor guilt, which can have a significant impact on your cognitive health and affect how you manage anxiety and depression. When you are imbalanced, your lifestyle changes, which can eventually affect your professional success.

[…] Your employer should support the responsibilities that come with having a family and your partner should support the times in which you may have to carve out time for work. Because they value your contribution (professional) and because they love you (personal).”

— Joy Altimare | Chief Brand & Engagement Officer at EHE

Frequently Asked Questions

Can work-life balance be achieved while working in a high-pressure job?

Absolutely, work-life balance can be achieved even in a high-pressure job. Balance is achievable with some planning and effort, even in demanding roles.

You might need to prioritize tasks, delegate when possible, and ensure you take breaks to recharge. Discussing flexible work arrangements with your employer can also help.

Is remote work a good solution for achieving a better work-life balance?

Remote work can offer flexibility that helps in achieving a better work-life balance. It often eliminates commuting and enables more control over one’s environment and schedule.

However, it also requires discipline to set boundaries to prevent work from overtaking your personal time.

How can employers support employees’ work-life balance?

Employers can support work-life balance by offering flexible work schedules, telecommuting options, reasonable workloads, and promoting a culture that values time off. Providing access to wellness programs and mental health support can also be beneficial.

Is work-life balance only important for employees, or should leaders also maintain it?

Work-life balance is important for everyone, including leaders. Leaders who demonstrate a good balance between work and personal life set a positive example for their employees, fostering a supportive and healthy work environment.

How often should I assess and adjust my work-life balance?

It’s a good idea to regularly assess your work-life balance, especially when you feel overwhelmed or experience significant life changes. Checking in monthly or seasonally can help ensure you stay aligned with your priorities.

Final Thoughts

Work-life balance isn’t just a trendy phrase—it’s a way to improve our lives. When we make time for the things that matter most to us, we become better versions of ourselves, both at work and at home.

Making time for yourself and your loved ones brings joy and energy back into your life. If you haven’t considered your work-life balance much, now is a great time to start. Isn’t it better to make the most of every day, in and out of the office?

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Erika Maniquiz is a certified teacher and librarian with a Library and Information Science degree. She cherishes the calm moments reading books as much as the dynamic discussions she has in her classroom. Beyond her career, she is a fan of Kdrama and loves Kpop's lively beats.