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Salary or Work Life Balance - What Matters More?

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In recent years, there has been an increase in awareness of the importance of work-life balance, with many employees recognising that a healthy balance between personal and work life contributes to well-being, productivity, and success.

Although salary remains a crucial consideration for many employees, there is evidence to suggest a rising importance placed on work-life balance. Research shows that many employees are open to a lower salary in return for increased flexibility in their work arrangements, such as the option to work remotely or to have more control over their schedule.

Why would people choose balance over salary?

The traditional notion of job success is often taught to be comprised of an equal split of salary and job title. Introducing the element of balance into this equation suggests a more refined approach to measuring success. By incorporating considerations for mental and physical health, passion for the job, and available free time alongside salary and job title, a more comprehensive and balanced perspective emerges regarding the priorities in both your life and work.


People may opt for balance over salary due to several reasons:

-       There is more time available to prioritise both physical and mental wellbeing.

-       The expectation to ‘always be on’ in terms of energy, personality and performance is reduced, due to the clear separation between personal and work life.

-       Being fully present in the moment becomes front of mind due to clearer personal and career boundaries.

-       The prevention of burnout and preservation of passion for the role.

-       The intangible benefits of meaning, growth, and development outweigh monetary reward.


While balance is key, salary is still extremely important for many employees in the job landscape. People want to be compensated for their effort and time; therefore, it is not surprising that salary is still a key driver across many industries.

For many employees, financial security stands as a fundamental motivator for work, while others prioritise achieving a balance between their professional and personal lives. This choice is inherently personal for everyone, but it is essential to understand the researched benefits of balance, and how it can drive success and efficiency.