Work-life balance is the priority among workers. A recent survey says that nearly two-thirds of workers would choose a better work-life balance option over better pay.
- 77% think having a remote or hybrid job has or would help them manage their mental health issues
- 57% said that if they were not allowed to keep working remotely in their current position, they would look for a new job
- 45% estimate they save at least $5,000 a year by working remotely, with one in five estimating a cost savings of over $10,000 per year
- 65% said their ideal work arrangement was 100% remote work, and 32% want a hybrid workplace
According to FlexJobs’ Career Pulse 2022 Survey* of over 4,000 professionals, 63% of workers said they would choose better work-life balance over better pay if given the option.
Less than one-third (31%) would choose better pay over better work-life balance. The specific numbers below illustrate the heavy leaning toward better work-life balance over better pay. If they had to choose between the two, respondents say they prefer:
- Definitely better work-life balance (44%)
- Probably better work-life balance (19%)
- Definitely better pay (15%)
- Probably better pay (16%)
- Not sure (6%)
Eighty-seven percent also said that having a remote or hybrid job has improved or would improve their work-life balance. Given the above, it’s not surprising that only 3% want to work in the office full-time.
Sixty-five percent said their ideal work arrangement was 100% remote work, and 32% wanted a hybrid workplace. Fifty-seven percent went so far as to say that they would look for a new job if they were not allowed to keep working remotely in their current position.
“From time and financial savings to increased productivity, remote work provides many valuable benefits for employees––but work-life balance is king,” said Sara Sutton, Founder, and CEO of FlexJobs.
“Healthy work-life balance can be instrumental to the success and longevity of an organization. As reaffirmed in our latest report, a top priority for today’s workers and job seekers. We hope FlexJobs’ latest findings demonstrate the important role job flexibility plays in helping employees strike the right balance between their personal and professional lives,” Sutton concluded.
Other reported benefits of remote and hybrid work:
- Cost savings: 45% estimate they save at least $5,000 a year by working remotely, with one in five estimating a cost savings of over $10,000 per year by working remotely (from not eating out, no gas, dry cleaning, etc.). And 29% estimate they save at least $2,600 a year.
- Happiness: 84% said having a remote or hybrid job makes or would make them happier people in general.
- Mental Health: For those with mental health issues, 77% think having a remote or hybrid job has or would help them manage their mental health issues.
With many job seekers pursuing permanent remote work arrangements, FlexJobs’ Career Coaching team has shared their best practices to stay productive, alleviate stress, avoid burnout, and achieve better work-life balance as remote workers.
6 Ways Remote Workers Can Practice Better Work-Life Balance
1. Set Boundaries and a Schedule
Creating boundaries and sticking to a regular schedule can help maintain productivity and ease some of the stress that comes from working. Employees should set work hours and log off at the end of each scheduled workday to help focus on other things outside work. When work hours have a beginning and an end time, it’s easier to set boundaries with family members, coworkers, and managers.
2. Take a Break
Once people get the hang of working from home, they often move from task to task and lose track of time, forgetting to take breaks like they would in an office. Going from item to item with no time to reflect and regroup can hurt performance, so it’s important to remember to create a little space between outputs.
For example, spend 10 minutes reflecting on a meeting, then take a 15-minute break with a family member or a roommate, or go for a quick walk around the block. Getting fresh air in the middle of a workday can improve productivity. Studies have shown that breathing fresh air leads to better decision-making, higher test scores, and improved information processing—plus, it’s a wonderful way to support overall wellness.
3. Connect with Coworkers
Schedule 10 minutes daily to chat with coworkers (via Slack, Zoom, or any other real-time communication tool) about non-work stuff. Whether it’s about the hottest streaming show or trading healthy meal recipes, social support and connection can help remote workers decompress and build stronger relationships.
4. Schedule Self-Care
Setting aside self-care time will bring balance to each day and provide the energy needed to tackle the next task. Prioritize exercise, hobbies, or a workday meditation practice. Anything that brings joy and peace will positively impact the ability to achieve better work-life balance when working from home.
5. Take Time Off
Studies have shown that vacations can improve health and productivity, reduce stress, and are essential to maintaining mental health and preventing burnout. Additionally, taking regular vacations can help workers become better engaged and more productive employees.
6. Seek Support
Sometimes, taking breaks and self-care days is still not enough. Mental health is important, so don’t be afraid to reach out to a family member, friend, colleague, human resources team, or an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) for support and resources.
*FlexJobs created the survey, which they promoted to general audiences and its subscribers/members primarily through social media and newsletters. FlexJobs used a multiple choice and multi-select question format via SurveyMonkey’s online platform. The survey ran from July 13, 2022, to July 31, 2022.
Demographic breakdown of the 4,502 respondents: Gender: women (71%), men (26%), prefer not to identify (2%), prefer to self-describe (1%); Generation: Gen Z (12%), millennial/Gen Y (38%), Gen X (33%), baby boomer (16%), silent generation (1%); Education: less than a high school degree (1%), high school degree or equivalent (10%), some college but no degree (17%), associate’s degree (9%), bachelor’s degree (39%), graduate degree (24%); Career level: entry-level (18%), experienced (50%), manager (17%), senior-level manager (10%), executive (5%); Thirty-eight percent had children 18 or younger living at home with them.