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Pattie Lovett-Reid: What means more to you, work-life balance or salary?

HUNTSVILLE, ONT. —
Employees have long been focused on two incentives when deciding on a potential employer or sticking with their current employer: salary and benefits. 

However, a new survey from ADP Canada and Maru Public Opinion found the pandemic seems to have changed our priorities. Respondents are now prioritizing work-life balance as a top factor in staying with their current employer and when exploring new opportunities. 

Lifestyles have gone under the microscope, with 15 per cent of survey respondents who have either voluntarily transitioned to a new position or industry or left the workforce altogether. When narrowing in on those working remotely, it is clearly more than the ability to work from home as 22 per cent made the decision it was time for a change.  

The ability to work remotely has been a game changer for sure but, more importantly, many reported it is about balance and desire  to improve their personal lives (33 per cent), limit workload and stress (29 per cent)  and a desire for more flexible hours (28 per cent) to round out the top three leading issues conbtributing to this focus on work-life balance.

The pandemic proved many could work anywhere, any time and what started as temporary gap measure has rapidly turned into an expectation. In fact, 9 out 10 remote workers would like to work remotely at least some of the time. The result is a shift from salary being a key driver (20 per cent) to 31 per cent of respondents saying now work-life balance is more important to them. 

Many other reports have highlighted employees expressing concerns over burnout, lack of support and unsustainable workloads with the boundaries blurring between their personal and professional lives. Work and life are not separate entities, they are interconnected. This past year has made that abundantly clear.

These data points are key. 

According to the survey, 19 per cent of those who are employed have been approached by a competing employer in the past six months offering up better working conditions. When asked about their next work-life move, 63 per cent of Canadians have started to think about it.

Bottom line: The war for talent is real. Salary now appears to be a secondary consideration with 32 per cent of the respondents now saying a workplace that respects their work-life balance is more important to them when looking for a job.



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