Work-life balance beats salary as top factor in choosing new role

work-life balanceTwo-fifths (41%) of UK employees were attracted to their current role for the promise of work-life balance, compared with 36% who cited salary, according to research by workplace pension provider Aviva.

This was a change compared to before the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic in 2019, when 41% were attracted to salary, the same proportion that prioritised work-life balance.

The findings highlighted that 43% of male employees said they were attracted to salary, compared with 34% who chose work-life balance, while women tended to pick work-life balance (44%) over salary (33%).

The importance of the benefits package and pension contributions both remained consistent over the past three years, ranking seventh and eighth place respectively as reasons for taking a current role.

When asked which salaries improved their overall happiness, 88% of respondents cited workplace benefits other than salary, an increase from 86% in 2019. A similar number (87%) wanted to see improvements to their benefits package over the next 12 months, up from 82% in 2019.

However, 53% of employers said they struggle to offer competitive benefits, up from 42% in 2019, with 62% who employ between 50 and 249 employees finding it a challenge. More than three-fifths (62%) admitted that the main reason for this was cost.

Laura Stewart-Smith, head of client engagement at Aviva, said: “The workplace benefits package on offer and the level of employer pension contributions are clearly both still important to employees in a post-pandemic world. Employers can only get the best return on investment if employees fully understand and utilise the benefits available to them and the key to achieving this is good engagement.

“It is important when communicating the workplace benefits package to be sensitive to the financial challenges people might be facing in the current climate and employee case studies of those who have benefitted may be a useful tool in bringing to life what a workplace benefits package can do for other colleagues. Employees may be able to help improve their situation by taking-up the benefits which are on offer.”