Work/life balance is a close cousin to occupational health and safety (OHS), particularly health. It is often the gateway people use to reduce occupational health risks such as stress and other psychosocial issues. Moving to self-employment can be a successful strategy but it is not as easy as simply relocating one’s individual workplace or teleworking, the expected control on work hours may not eventuate and it may be very difficult to maintain a livable wage. In The Saturday Age on April 26 2014 (not locatable on-line), Dr Natalie Skinner of the Australian Centre for Work + Life, provided a useful perspective.
Skinner writes that her annual surveys over the last six years have indicated that:
“self-employment is neither better nor worse for work-life conflict than being an employee.”
Skinner acknowledges that this seems odd because there has been so much debate about the win-win of workplace flexibility.