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81 Percent of Parents Say Work-Life Balance Is More Important Than Salary

Topics: Data & Research
work-life balance
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So much changes when you become a parent. Your professional goals and aspirations can look entirely different — at the very least, you adopt new means of balancing work with your personal life.

It’s no wonder, then, that working parents weigh work flexibility pretty heavily. How heavily? A recent report from FlexJobs, Working Parents in 2017: What They Want at Work, showed that more than four out of five parents value work-life balance more than salary.

Parents Want Flexibility

Seventy-six percent of respondents said that a flexible schedule was more important to them than pay. And, an even higher number, 81 percent, said that work-life balance mattered more to them than earnings. Seventy percent of those surveyed said that they had thought about leaving a job because it didn’t offer flexibility.

Family and work-life balance was the most popular reason that parents said they would prefer a more flexible work arrangement; 81 percent cited it as a motivator. Forty-four percent said they wanted more flexibility in order to save time. Forty-one percent said they’d like to cut out the commute stress. And, 39 percent said that the anticipated cost-savings was an important factor in wanting a more flexible work arrangement.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

No matter how you slice the data, it’s clear to see that the vast majority of working parents want better flexibility in order to support improved work-life balance.

Why Working Parents Want Balance

Many working parents think their lives outside of work would change in all kinds of ways if they had a more flexible arrangement. Fifty-four percent said they would start volunteering at their children’s schools or organized events. An additional 34 percent said that they currently volunteer but they would put in more time if they had a different working arrangement that allowed for greater balance.

They also felt that they would be healthier. Seventy-nine percent said that they imagine that more flexibility would help them improve their health. Eighty-six percent said they’d be less stressed. And, 87 percent indicated that they think a different arrangement would save them money.

Benefits for Employers

Many of the parents who were surveyed for this report also thought that there would be tremendous value for their employers if they had a more flexible arrangement and better work-life balance. Eighty-two percent said that more flexibility would make them more loyal to their employer. Seventy-seven percent said that they felt that a flexible arrangement would support the development of meaningful relationships with coworkers, which would be good for business. But, a willingness to lose out on salary is perhaps the best evidence that work-life balance and flexibility matters a lot to parents. Twenty-four percent of employees said they’d even be willing to take a 10 percent pay cut in order to have the option to telecommute whenever they wanted.

Tell Us What You Think

Which do you value more: work-life balance or salary? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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Terra Jones

It is my firm belief that a flexible work schedule is extremely the most important in a child’s up bringing for parents. The world is changing rapidly and just as we want for our kids to have everything we never had. We also want to be the greatest influence in their lives, we are never gonna get this time back if we spend all our time at work. I believe the bond that we create, the connection and time well… Read more »


My reason for wanting and desiring a work-life-balance is a combination. 1) Cost savings (financial and emotional). Childcare for ages 0 – 5 is expensive. I know some would work to pay for childcare, or for those lucky enough to have childcare on site, great. But I’ve been there done that too. Years back, I bought my oldest to work and when it was time to go home, I was too emotionally drained to focus on here. I never went… Read more »

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