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Work-life balance

Problems reconciling work and family life are a recurring issue. They can hinder career opportunities and sometimes it is even difficult to receive some hours off from work to take care of family matters. The International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) asked its participants:

- “Have you ever given up or would you give up good job opportunities for the benefit of your family life?”

- “How difficult would it be for you to take an hour or two off during working hours, to take care of personal or family matters?”


Source: International Social Survey Programme (MOSAiCH 2015)

Inflexible working hours have a negative effect on achieving a work-life balance. Some members of the working population – particularly women – find it difficult to take even one to two hours off from work for private or family matters, for example in order to accompany a sick child to the doctor, or to respond to an unscheduled early closing of a day care centre or school.

A fair number of women report having foregone career opportunities in favour of the family (whereby some regret this in retrospect). Many men are also willing in principle to cut back on their work in favour of the family. However, the share of men who actually do so is smaller than with women (partially because it is still less accepted for men to work part time).

Download data from the graph (Excel file)

For more information:

- the MOSAiCH-ISSP survey

- Swiss data from the MOSAiCH-ISSP survey (on FORS Nesstar)


Source of texts and charts is the Swiss Social Report 2016:

Franziska Ehrler, Felix Bühlmann, Peter Farago, François Höpflinger, Dominique Joye, Pasqualina Perrig-Chiello und Christian Suter (Hg.). Swiss Social Report 2016: Wellbeing. Zürich: Seismo-Verlag.