How Much Would You Pay For A Better Work-Life Balance?

In Family, Individual, Protection by Raina Dhillon

Could you put a price on ‘work-life balance’? According to a new survey, many Brits could, and they’d actually be willing to sacrifice a significant proportion of their salaries to achieve that highly sought after lifestyle choice.

It’s a given that different things make different people happy. But when it comes to improving their work-life balance and, in turn, increasing their happiness, many British employees would be willing to forgo an average of £2,000 per year.

In fact, nearly half (48%) of all British workers would be willing to take a 5-10% pay cut if it meant they achieved a better work-life balance. When you consider that the average salary in the UK is £25,417, this equates to around £2,000 per year.

All in all, 60% of British employees would be willing to sacrifice some of their salaries (4% more than in 2017) to achieve a better work-life balance.

The annual LifeSearch Health, Wealth & Happiness Report 2018 also showed that an increasing number of British workers have a poor work-life balance (44% now vs. 34% last year). Is it any wonder then that so many Brits are fervently yearning for more free time to make them happier?

Women Value Their Free Time More Than Men

More to the point, Brits significantly value their free time spent outside of paid work, with the average British worker it is worth £61,829 per year to them. Interestingly, it’s women who value their free time more, putting a figure of £64,020 on it compared to men’s average of £59,533.

However, the survey also revealed that more men than women (62% vs. 57%) are willing to give up part of their salaries to gain extra free time.

With such a high value placed on free time, it begs the question of whether British employees are earning enough each year to justify not having this free time outside of work available.

But what would people do with any extra free time they gained? The number one choice for women would be to spend it with family (39%), while men want to relax (37%) and 18 to 34 year olds want to use it for hobbies (40%).

Subject Of Money ‘Shrouded In Mystery And Anxiety’

Interestingly, when it comes to work-related stress, millennials, more than any other group, say it is a concern for them. For example, while just one in seven (15%) 35 to 54 year-olds and less than one in 20 (4%) over-55s believe stress is a concern, a quarter of millennials believe so.

Speaking about the findings of the survey, Iona Bain, financial commentator and author, said: “We as a nation are getting better at expressing our financial fears and hopes – which is good news. But the whole subject of money is still shrouded in mystery and anxiety for most people.”

She added that far too many adults “sleepwalk” through their lives and never realise that money isn’t necessarily the answer. Instead, people should better manage the money they do have so they can lead a more “fulfilled, balanced life and sleep well at night.”

Let’s finish back where we started… How much would you pay for a better work-life balance? Would you be willing to sacrifice around £2,000 a year like the majority of the people in the study?

I have over 15 years client facing experience in the Employee Benefits industry having worked for Mercer HR Consulting and The Willis Group in London. Bringing my expertise to mid and large corporate clients, I joined Premier Choice Healthcare in December 2015, with the aim of advising and developing a varied Corporate client portfolio.