European Youth Declaration on Work-Life Balance

After months of collaborative work and negotiations, YouthProAktiv has approved the European Youth Declaration on Work-Life Balance as part of our advocacy work.

Congratulation to all those young leaders that worked hard for the betterment of our society!

YouthProAktiv is a coalition of young people promoting a culture of proactivity and entrepreneurship in education and policy.

Work-life balance is one one the main challenges workers have to deal with. They are driven by ambition to succeed and a strong will to express their skills and often encouraged by their superiors to do so or they create their own venture, looking to achieve a dream they have been longing for years. In both cases, they are facing pressure to prioritize their professional career, to the detriment of their personal life.

Young people are changing the approach of how they perceive their profession involvement. Far from being less engaged, they are focusing on productivity and listing work-life balance as one of their biggest worry. If work environments are always more open to this change of mentality, not all of them are yet convinced that this new work paradigm leads to more effective and sustainable results.

 A new generation of young european entrepreneurs and professionals is emerging and it is calling for a change regarding how societies and employers are perceiving work. Consequently,  

  • We call for employers, trade unions, national and european policy-makers to publicly aknowledge that work-life balance is leading to an increase of productivity, motivation and strenghtening the sens of belonging;
  • We invite policy-makers to concretely adjust the education material used in school to present what is the meaning of work-life balance and to encourage students to emphasizing on the positive effects it has on workers and entrepreneurs, as well as on the whole working environment;
  • We also invite policy-makers to concretely take into account the concept of work-life balance when they elaborate new policies or regulations concerning employability or support for entrepreneurs. Implementing concrete measures to implement this new approach should also be part of a broader fight against work-related mental illness
  • We further resquest from policy-markers that they create a label which would recognize the efforts made by the employers in the implementation of work-life balance internal policies. There should be criterias defined and a monitoring system put into place to credibilize the label and encourage employers to bring the necessary internal changes;
  • We encourage employers to concretely include the notion of work-life balance into formal contractual agreement, so that it is taken into account in the overall planification of the workload when a new employee is hired;
  • We urge employers to require from their human ressources department to develop and provide internal tranings on work-life balance to their employees. The training should lead to the elaboration and implementation of a work-life balance chart, written and signed by both employers and the staff;
  • We strongy call for the European commission to elaborate a European campaign explaining the importance of work-life balance. This campaign should also include tools and material to support member states to lead their own national campaing;
  • We invite all workers, being young or not, to internally voice their wish to have acces to a work environment openly promotin work-life balance. They are the first concern by this change and asking for this new approach should only reiterate how important they consider their workplace and the job they are doing, a gesture employers should welcome with open arms;
  • We call for research institute to proactively intensify the research on work-life balance which could lead to a precise understanding of the positive impact it has on the work experience and outcome.

 We firmly believe that we are at the begining of a new era of working conditions and that the implementation of work-life balance will become a way to attract the best talents for recruiters. Its more that a work culture, it’s a new approach which increase productivity, work relations and it brings better results.

 If all stakeholders are actively implementing actions, like those presented above, the definition of work will reach the ambition of the new gereneration of young european workers ready to take on the 21st century.