How Americans are Balancing Work-Life

Assumpta Udochukwu
By Assumpta Udochukwu 4 Min Read

The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) for 2023 provides a fascinating glimpse into how employed individuals in the United States balance their work lives, whether at home or in the workplace. One of the most intriguing findings is the significant shift in work locations since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Work Locations and Hours

In 2023, 35% of employed people performed some or all of their work from home on the days they worked. This is a notable increase from pre-pandemic times when only 24% worked from home in 2019. Interestingly, this figure remained stable from 2022, suggesting that remote work has become a more entrenched part of the American work culture.

On average, those working from home put in 5.1 hours per day, whereas their counterparts in traditional workplace settings worked for an average of 7.9 hours. This discrepancy could be attributed to various factors, including the flexibility of remote work and the structure of office environments.

Education and Remote Work

Education level plays a significant role in determining the likelihood of working from home. Among workers aged 25 and over, 52% of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher worked from home on days they worked, compared to only 22% of those with a high school diploma and no college education.

Despite this difference in remote work prevalence, the overall likelihood of working on any given day was almost identical between these two groups—68% for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher and 67% for those with only a high school diploma.

Gender Differences in Work Patterns

Gender dynamics in the workplace also revealed some interesting patterns. In 2023, men and women were nearly equally likely to work from home—36% of employed women compared to 34% of employed men. However, men worked slightly longer hours at home and in the workplace.

On average, men worked 36 minutes more per day than women, which partially reflects the higher incidence of part-time work among women. Even among full-time workers, men worked longer hours—8.3 hours compared to 8.0 hours for women.

Weekend vs. Weekday Work

The survey also highlighted differences in work patterns between weekdays and weekends. A significant 80% of employed people worked on an average weekday, compared to just 28% on an average weekend day. Weekday workers put in an average of 8.1 hours, while weekend workers logged 5.5 hours. This trend underscores the traditional workweek structure that still dominates most professions.

Educational attainment influenced weekend work hours. High school graduates without a college degree worked more hours on weekends (7.1 hours) compared to those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (3.7 hours). This could reflect the nature of jobs typically held by these different educational groups, with higher education often correlating with more standard Monday-to-Friday work schedules.

The ATUS 2023 results shed light on the evolving landscape of work in the United States. The increased prevalence of remote work, the impact of education on work habits, and the persistent gender differences in work hours all highlight the complexity of modern employment.

As we move forward, understanding these patterns will be crucial for policymakers, employers, and workers alike in navigating the future of work.

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Assumpta Udochukwu
Posted by Assumpta Udochukwu
Assumpta is a Professional Accountant, Brand Strategist, Writer and Digital Data Storyteller with extensive experience in Finance, Digital Marketing and Business Administration. She is the Chief Analyst and Editor at, she is passionate about telling data stories in an entertaining and engaging manner.
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