On June 1, Mexico observes its National Work-Life Balance Day to promote changes and increase awareness regarding the value of families. Unfortunately, in Mexico, long working hours hinder individuals from finding this balance.
Mexico surpasses other OECD countries in working hours, with an average of 2,137 hours worked per year in 2019, compared to the OECD average of 1,730 hours. This means that in Mexico, 23% more hours are worked compared to the OECD average, as reported by COPARMEX Nuevo Leon.
The goal of this day is to raise awareness about the daily challenges faced by Mexican families and the urgent need for inclusive and equitable legislation in family and gender policies. This will ensure the right of both men and women to have paid employment without having to give up their family life, according to INMUJERES.
Promoting increased involvement of both mothers and fathers in their children's education and care is crucial. However, there has been a decline in parental participation in the educational process since 2016. Many parents believe that communication with teachers is ineffective and prefer to use online communication methods. However, increased parental involvement could improve communication, although lack of support and limited availability of time are factors that contribute to low attendance at school events, as reported by Institute for the Future of Education.
Moreover, this date aims to promote family relationships that encourage coexistence and improve the health conditions of household members. It seeks to achieve a balance between work and family life and promote social co-responsibility in caregiving tasks, involving parents, the government, the private sector and society as a whole to bring about changes in the division of labor.
In Mexico, women spend less time on recreational and leisure activities as they take on a greater burden of unpaid domestic work from a young age, regardless of the type of family they belong to. In 2019, women in Mexico spent 27.8% of their day on unpaid domestic work, while men spent 11.1% of their day on these tasks, as reported by MBN.
One of the factors driving the phenomenon known as the "Great Resignation" or "Great Reshuffle" is the desire to establish a clear separation between work responsibilities and personal life. While this demand has become a de facto standard, remote and hybrid work models effectively blur the line between work and personal life in practice, focusing on outcomes and work quality rather than when and how long work is done.
Different companies have embraced a fresh perspective and have implemented programs that enable a healthy work-life balance for their employees. “As we return to work, flexibility is a key focus. We no longer come to the office every day; it is three days in the office and two days at home. We are also providing more vacation days than what is required by law, including five flexible days for employees in addition to regular vacation time. We also offer one month of paternity leave and flexible days for mourning the death of a close family member,” says Alex Bolbrugge, President Mexico, Marsh, to MBN.