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Survey Finds Half of Workers Would Take Pay Cut for More Flexible Schedule


Setting your own hours is a desirable perk for many workers. So much so that they’d even be willing to sacrifice some of their paycheck in exchange for more control of their work schedule.

This is according to a survey by Shiftboard, a workforce scheduling platform, which found that 49% of the 2,000 employees surveyed would be willing to take a reasonable pay cut for more control over their schedule. Comparatively, 56% of hourly workers would be willing to take a reasonable pay cut for better health benefits.

“The study revealed very interesting findings on worker attitudes,” said Steve O’Brian, vice president of marketing at Shiftboard. “For example, making a significant contribution to the success of their organization was more important to hourly workers than their non-hourly counterparts. We’re finding that wages are only part of the equation. Employers need to look beyond obvious factors to effectively increase satisfaction and retention for today’s hourly employees.”

The research indicates work-life balance isn’t defined by conforming to a standard 40-hour work week. Hourly workers want more control over their work schedules, and they want to feel empowered to adapt work to life, whatever their lives may look like.

While 68% of the overall respondents indicated work-life balance was important, 77% of hourly workers polled said work-life balance was necessary for job satisfaction. Additionally, 87% of hourly workers said it is extremely important to have control over the days and times they are expected to work.

Other survey findings about hourly worker preferences include:

  • 89% would rather work longer days to have more days off between scheduled shifts.
  • 85% said their schedule impacts their overall job satisfaction and 80% said it impacts the likelihood they stay with their employer.
  • 78% want to work a set number of hours without overtime being a requirement; however, 88% want the ability to work more hours for more pay, and 93% are willing to work overtime, as long as it’s not required.

The survey also analyzed how gender and generational preferences compared. Consider the following:

  • 76% of male workers indicated their work schedule impacts their productivity vs. 68% of female workers.
  • 75% of male workers said their work schedule impacts their emotional and psychological well-being vs. 68% of women.
  • 78% of workers between the ages of 18-34 believe their schedule impacts the quality of their work vs. 69% of workers 35 and older.
  • 55% of workers 18-34 say having consistency in the days and times they work is necessary for job satisfaction vs. 44% of workers 35 and older.

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