For many Americans, work-life balance is more than just an ideal. In fact, nearly half of hourly workers would be willing to bring home less cash if they could have a more flexible schedule, a new survey suggests.
Workforce scheduling company Shiftboard, along with market research firm Lux Insights, surveyed more than 2,000 adults who said they either work hourly, work in shifts or have never performed shift work in the past. The goal of the study was to get into the mindset of the hourly worker, a group that encompasses 81.9 million Americans, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Among the hourly workers surveyed, more than half reported household incomes of over $60,000, 25% claimed household incomes of $100,000 or more and 20.5% reported incomes of less than $30,000.
The ability to call the shots in their daily lives was central to survey respondents’ sense of fulfillment in their careers. Eighty-seven percent of hourly workers said having control over the days and times they were scheduled to work was extremely important, while 77% said they needed to have work-life balance in order to be satisfied with their jobs.
Many were even willing to sacrifice or change jobs in order to have the autonomy they craved. Of those who were paid on an hourly basis, 49% said they would be willing to take a ‘“reasonable” pay cut to have more control over their work schedule and 80% of respondents said their schedule had an influence over whether they would even stay with their current employer.
Some respondents simply wanted to make sure their schedules aligned with their lives. For example, 89% said they would prefer to work longer days and then have more time off between shifts.
However, others were looking for more than flexibility; they wanted their jobs to offer a way for them to make more money — when they chose to do so. A whopping 88% said they wanted to have the option of working overtime hours for more pay. However, 78% said they wanted a set number of hours without overtime being a job requirement and 93% saying they would be willing to work overtime, but didn’t want to be required to do so.
While 77% of hourly workers said work-life balance was a top driver of job satisfaction, respondents also listed other determining factors:
- 66% said being paid well was important
- 64% said having a good working relationship with the boss was a top driver
- 62% said working in a convenient location was a determining factor
- 58% said enjoying the tasks they perform at work impacted their satisfaction
Career satisfaction looks different to every person. When searching for a job, make sure your priorities are met, whether you’re most concerned about salary, benefits or a flexible schedule. Also, do your research and see how other employees at potential companies rate their workplaces. The more your workplace aligns with your personal value system, the happier you’ll be.