The introduction of alternative work styles that happened due to the pandemic has caused shifts in the priorities of employees in relation to work-life balance. With many companies offering remote or hybrid working styles, many are now able to experience more out of their lives beyond their jobs.
Rising costs of living have further employee concerns about work-life balance, as many are looking for roles that will allow them to have sustainable careers that will support their lives and avoid burnout. Although pay is now being disputed by many workers in various sectors, recent reports show that work-life balance can ultimately be more significant than higher pay.
Healthy and Unhealthy Work-Life Balance
What a healthy work-life balance looks like can be different from person to person. A healthy balance does not simply mean an equal split of time between home and work, but rather the accommodation and fulfilment of both sides in one’s life.
A healthy work-life balance can look like these:
- Completing work tasks and still being able to socialise with friends outside of work
- Having proper sleep and meals every day
- The ability to disconnect from work at home
However, achieving such things may be difficult for individuals with more responsibilities, unsupportive work and home environments or underlying health issues.
On the other hand, an unhealthy work-life balance can look like these:
- Not being able to have proper rest after a long day at work
- Overcommitting to tasks
- Lack of socialising or family time
In the long run, not having a healthy work-life balance can cause burnout, stress, and a decline in mental health. If not addressed, this can significantly impact the quality of life of the individual – causing them to not be able to perform at work or even enjoy their time outside of work.
Work-Life Balance vs Pay
Many workers are now seeking additional financial support from their employers to help them through the cost-of-living crisis. However, Hays recently reported that 56% of employees are open to accepting lower-paying jobs for a better work-life balance. Additionally, 33% of workers have admitted that work-life balance is the most “crucial consideration” in their job search.
Another report that has looked at this topic is one conducted by Aviva in September 2022. They have found that 41% of employees were drawn to their current roles due to the work-life balance, which is a higher number compared to the 36% of employees who said they were attracted by salary. On top of that, within this report, they also found that prior to the pandemic employees placed more value on pay than on work-life balance.
Based on these reports, it has been shown that the shifts brought by the pandemic in employment priorities have affected the outlook on work-life balance. The allowance for remote and hybrid working has allowed many employees to manage their time effectively to ensure that they can also enjoy their lives outside of work. Currently, even with financial concerns, many have admitted that pay is not as significant as work-life balance when it comes to jobs.