Pop-up poll: One-third of employees would take a pay cut for better work-life balance

With more people working remotely during the pandemic, the line between work and personal life often blurs. Respondents on TeamBlind.com put a price on a better work-life balance for employees.

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Image: iStock/lightfieldstudios

Due to the coronavirus, organizations around the globe have transitioned from the traditional workplace to the virtual office. For millions, the home was transformed into a part-time remote workspace in a matter of weeks. As professional life moves into the family domicile, it can be challenging for remote employees to find a healthy work-life balance.

In recent years, employees have increasingly sought more balance between the workday and their personal life. A 2018 Gartner report found that work-life balance ranked behind only compensation as the "top driver of attraction" among US employees. Interestingly, employees ranked work-life balance ahead of health benefits in the same report. How much of a pay cut would employees be willing to take to achieve this balance?

A new flash poll on the popular anonymous network for professionals, Blind, sought to determine how many people would accept a decreased salary for a better work-life balance. Below, we detail some highlights of this nonscientific poll.

"Would you take a 35% pay cut?"

A Blind user registered as an Amazon employee originally posted the poll titled "Would you take a 35% paycut to work at a company you like with better work life balance?" garnering nearly 7,000 responses in total. Overall, more than one-third of respondents (36%) answered in the affirmative, meaning they would be willing to take said steep cut in pay for better work-life balance.

As part of Blind's anonymous framework, Blind users are able to list their employers. As a result, polling results can be further parsed out by industry and employer. That said, more than 40% of IBM employees would take a cut in pay for a better work-life balance. This compares to 28% of JPMorgan Chase & Co. employees and 34% of Blind user employees at Microsoft, according to Blind.

SEE: COVID-19 workplace policy (TechRepublic Premium)

As for opposing ends of the spectrum on the issue, 81% of Goldman Sachs professionals who participated (26 employees in total) would not take a pay cut, whereas 53% of Bloomberg employees (32) would take said reduction in pay, according to a dataset provided by Blind.

The survey also amassed comments from 377 professionals adding personalized thoughts on their experience with work-life balance issues. One respondent, an anonymous Comcast employee, commented: "Nobody wants to acknowledge that having poor wlb is expensive.... Off hours Ubers, eating take out, not being able to go do groceries, the fact you can't focus on bills and etc. Maybe it's still theoretically more money in the end, but take a slight pay cut and being to enjoy life, enjoy a relationship, deal with your kids if you have them."

SEE: Big data's role in COVID-19 (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Zoom fatigue and remote collaboration

In recent weeks, other Blind surveys have focused on the drawbacks of remote work and virtual collaboration tools. As we reported in July, an engineer at a VMware recently submitted a survey to gauge engagement on video calls. With more than 4,600 responses, 27% reported that they are "trying to pay attention, but often zoning out." An additional 26% reported they were "doing other stuff" and "simply listening for their name" to be called during meetings.

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