Picture this: a job with flexible hours, remote work options, and generous time off, leaving plenty of opportunities to relax, pursue the hobbies you love, and spend time with family and friends. If you’re like many professionals, this can seem like a distant dream. But finding the best business jobs for work-life balance is possible—and key to your satisfaction.
With technology providing 24/7 access to work, creating a healthy work-life balance is more important than ever. In this blog, we'll uncover well-paying careers with promising job outlooks, as well as the educational pathways and credentials that can lead you to a career where you'll thrive, both personally and professionally.
The Importance of Work-Life Balance in Business Jobs
Whatever role you hold in business, achieving work-life balance can have a major impact on productivity, job satisfaction, and overall well-being. It often begins with having clear boundaries between work and personal life to prevent burnout. Time management skills are also important to balancing your time and energy wisely, and supportive work cultures are essential to job satisfaction. All of these factors allow employees to make time for relaxation, recreation, family, and friends, ultimately leading to a more fulfilled life both inside and outside of work.
Embracing a healthier work-life balance reduces stress, which can ultimately lead to greater job satisfaction. Remote options and flexible work schedules can play an essential role, allowing you to customize your work hours, take breaks as needed, and prioritize family and personal needs. Many employees who work remotely also feel an absence of micromanagement, which can reduce on-the-job stress.
Employees aren’t the only ones who benefit from having a good work-life balance. Businesses see increased productivity, greater employee retention, and improved workplace morale—which can all impact the bottom line in a positive way. On the other hand, the consequences that come from a poor work-life balance can lead to health issues, increased employee absences, and decreased productivity. On a personal level, the inability to disconnect from an unpleasant work environment often means bringing home stress—which can lead to strained relationships, neglected self-care, feeling overwhelmed, and even a lack of personal growth.
Recognizing that your work-life balance may need improvement means paying attention to red flags like always working overtime or bringing work home, feeling chronic stress, and neglecting personal care. All of these factors can lead to burnout, so if you’re experiencing them, consider exploring the following career options.
Top Business Jobs for Work-Life Balance
Project manager. Project managers take the lead on projects from concept to completion, facilitating task management and working with multiple groups within an organization to make sure that workflows run smoothly. These professionals can work in just about any field, including IT, construction, marketing, and more. The average salary for project managers is around $95,000 per year. As experts at balancing budgets, timelines, and schedules, it makes sense that project managers are able to also find a balance that works for their lifestyle.
HR manager: From recruiting new employees to overseeing company policies and communicating with staff, HR managers work to improve the overall productivity of a company’s workforce. This career field usually falls into a typical nine-to-five work schedule, which leaves plenty of off-duty time for work-life balance. The average salary of a human resources manager is $68,644 per year.
Business analyst: Business analysts work with organizations to help them improve their processes, services, products, and systems. Specifically, they focus on problems that relate to employees, consumers, and management. Those with business degrees can find positions as business analysts in a wide variety of industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, business analysts make an annual average of $99,270 They can work full-time for an organization or as freelance consultants, creating flexibility for work-life balance.
Financial analyst: If you like evaluating financial data, assessing microeconomics and macroeconomics, and forecasting market trends, then a career as a financial analyst could be for you. Professionals in this rewarding and challenging career earned an estimated median annual salary of $74,149. Work-life balance in this career field is largely dependent on the type of company you work for, which can include opportunities in banking, insurance, securities firms, investment firms, venture capital firms, and government agencies.
Digital marketer: The marketing career field encompasses varied specialties such as content marketing, social media management, email marketing, SEO, and web design. A digital marketer’s salary can range from $40,000 to $97,000 per year. Many freelance opportunities are also available in the $50 to $200 per hour range, making this a flexible and well-paid career field for work-life balance.
Real estate agent: With an average salary of $76,860 per year plus the satisfaction of helping families find a place to call home, a career as a real estate agent offers both financial reward and personal fulfillment. The flexibility of scheduling home showings allows most real estate agents the ability to prioritize personal time for hobbies, family, and relaxation.
Data scientist: Part mathematician, part analyst, part computer scientist, data scientists wear a lot of hats. Having a broad skill set pays off, with data scientists earning an average annual salary of $131,490 in fields like finance, insurance, business, healthcare, government, and manufacturing. Since data science is internet-based, many companies offer remote or hybrid work options, lending this career field opportunities for good work-life balance.
Software developer: If you enjoy technology, innovation, engineering principles, and problem-solving, then software developer may be a good career choice. No two days look the same in this highly valued and lucrative career field, with a median income around $110,140. Like many tech jobs, software engineering can often be done remotely or as a hybrid in-office and work-from-home job, which can allow you to find work-life balance in a demanding career field.
The Role of Remote Work and Flexible Schedules
Remote work, hybrid schedules, and flexibility are key contributors to work-life balance. When employees can customize their work hours to accommodate family needs or personal appointments, it can alleviate some of the stress that comes with full-time employment. Fewer distractions at home—without frequent in-office meetings and hallway conversations—can create a more focused work environment, enhancing efficiency and productivity. Plus, no daily commuting to an office saves time and energy, and is far less stressful.
Today’s employers recognize the need for a happy workforce and acknowledge that flexibility is now one of the top factors in attracting and retaining employees. As working remotely has become more commonplace, there’s been a 45% improvement in work-life balance and 30% increase in overall satisfaction at work.
That’s not to say there aren’t potential challenges that come with remote work and flexible schedules. These may include blurred work-life boundaries, lack of structure and discipline, feelings of isolation and lack of collaboration, communication challenges, time zone and availability challenges and, of course, those pesky technology and connectivity issues. However, these are simply different challenges than those experienced by in-person roles, and the overall benefits far exceed the inevitable challenges.
Tips for Maintaining Work-Life Balance in Business Jobs
Setting boundaries and prioritizing tasks is essential to maintaining work-life balance in business jobs. Creating and sticking to a schedule is key—and can remind you to take much-needed breaks throughout the day. Create daily and weekly to-do lists so you stay on top of tasks. If you work from home, setting up a dedicated workspace can help you walk away from “the office” at the end of the day.
According to Pew Research Center, 61% of remote workers feel they are more productive working from home, and 64% say it’s easier now to balance work with their personal life. A healthy work-life balance increases engagement, productivity, and employee retention, especially when employers are on board. While there’s no magic formula for balancing work and life that is exactly the same for everyone, achieving work-life balance is possible, within your boundaries.
At WGU, our goal is to make education accessible for working adults. Our flexible online, competency-based learning model allows you to study at your own pace—in a way that works for your schedule. Plus, you’ll have the guidance and support of a dedicated program mentor. Learn more about WGU’s College of Business and take the first step toward building a balanced career.