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Work-life balance wins over pay …… again

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A raft of recent surveys shows that workers value work-life balance over pay rewards; the most recent findings show that two thirds of staff have vowed to ‘get a life’ in 2005.

Research from Lloyds TSB and Working Families, which marks the launch of their annual search for Britain’s Best Boss 2005, reveals that the desire to get a better work-life balance wins out over more cash or climbing the ladder.

The top three career New Year’s resolutions are:

  • 1. To get a better work-life balance – 67%

  • 2. To ask for a pay review – 22%

  • 3. To go for a promotion – 19%

In a show of unity, 67% of respondents have made a promise to strike a better balance between work and home life this year. The figure compares to 22% who put pay rewards before work/life balance desires.

According to the report, the older generation are particularly keen to balance their lives, with 42% of 45 – 54 year olds resolving to achieve a better work-life deal.

Yet despite evidence which shows that bosses are getting better at adopting work-life balance practices (63% of staff have the option to work flexible hours), just over half (54%) admit they fear confronting their employer over the issues.

Men feel less comfortable talking to their boss about changing their working pattern than women, with 61% of males compared to 50% of females admitting they would find it difficult to broach the subject.

Fiona Cannon, head of equality and diversity at Lloyds TSB, said: “It is refreshing that, as far as career resolutions go, our number one priority is to balance work and play. But it’s rather telling that people don’t feel they can discuss it with their boss. Perhaps one of our career resolutions should be to develop a better relationship with the boss so that we can discuss our true career needs.”

HRZone reported recently on a similar survey by management consultancy Woodhurst which showed that employers can hang onto staff by showing flexibility.

Of the findings Geraint Evans, Managing Consultant at Woodhurst commented:

“The margin between the appeal of flexible working and more money is a lot narrower than many employers assume. The message is clear: offering your staff more flexibility in how they work, can be as effective a retention strategy as throwing money at the problem.”

To get a nomination form for Britain’s Best Boss 2005 Tel 020 7253 7243 or download one from www.workingfamiles.org.uk. The closing date is 3 May 2005.

Do you rate work/life balance over pay rewards? What is your current deal? Share your thoughts by posting a comment in the box below.

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