Jan 23, 2023 - News

Work-life balance is easier to find in Washington state, study finds

Animated illustration of a trend line teetering back and forth as it balances on a briefcase

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The focus on work-life balance sharpened when the pandemic opened employees' eyes to the benefits of a flexible work schedule. And one study says that Washington is among the nation's best for those seeking equanimity.

Why it matters: The pursuit of such equilibrium has had far-ranging impacts from the nationwide "quiet quitting" movement to Seattle's half-empty downtown and lagging retail and restaurant recovery.

Driving the news: A study by Global employment company Remote looked at these metrics for states: minimum wage, sick and maternity leave, healthcare, average hours worked, LGBTQ+ inclusivity and overall happiness.

  • Washington scored 62.79 out of a possible 100, second only to Connecticut at 66.86. (FYI: Washington's minimum wage has gone up from $14.49 to $15.74/hour since the data was pulled late last year.)

But, but, but: Seeking proper work-life balance is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, Seattle life coach and author Lisa Levine tells Axios.

A key thing to do, Levine says, is to ask yourself: What do I need today?

  • The answer will change "depending on the day of the week and your responsibilities."
  • Some basics she says should always be a priority: Maintaining your health, getting good sleep, taking opportunities to unplug and learning to say no.

ā²ļø Taking time for a daily reset is one of most important things people can do to build balance, Nicole Tsong, a Seattle columnist, author and work/life balance coach, tells Axios.

  • 5ā€“10 minutes is enough: take a quick walk, have a little dance party in your house, meditate.
  • Bringing those breaks into your routine will make a big difference, she says.
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