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Pattie Lovett-Reid: What matters most to you, work-life balance or salary?


HUNTSVILLE, ONT. – Employees have long focused on two incentives when choosing a potential employer or staying with their current employer: salary and benefits.

However, a new poll from ADP Canada and Maru Public Opinion found that the pandemic appears to have shifted our priorities. Respondents now prioritize work-life balance as a primary factor in staying with their current employer and when exploring new opportunities.

Lifestyles have come under scrutiny, with 15 percent of survey respondents voluntarily making the transition to a new job or industry or leaving the job market entirely. Focusing on those who work remotely, this is clearly more than the ability to work from home, as 22% decided it was time for a change.

The ability to work remotely was certainly a game-changer, but more importantly, many said it was about balance and the desire to improve their personal lives (33%), to limit workload and stress (29%) and a desire for more flexible hours (28 percent) to complement the top three issues contributing to this emphasis on work-life balance.

The pandemic has proven that many can function anywhere, anytime, and what started as a temporary gap measure quickly turned into a wait. In fact, 9 out of 10 teleworkers would like to work remotely at least part of the time. The result is a change in salary being a key factor (20 percent) with 31 percent of respondents saying that now work-life balance is more important to them.

Numerous other reports have highlighted employees expressing concerns about burnout, lack of support and unsustainable workloads as the lines blurring between their personal and professional lives. Work and life are not separate entities, they are interconnected. Last year made it clear.

These data points are essential.

According to the survey, 19 percent of those employed were approached by a competing employer in the past six months offering better working conditions. When asked about their next change between work and personal life, 63 percent of Canadians started to think about it.

Conclusion: the war for talent is real. Pay now appears as a secondary consideration, with 32 percent of respondents now saying that a workplace that respects their work-life balance is more important to them when looking for a job.

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