Around 60% of Americans Would Refuse to Do This 1 Thing to Improve Their Work-Life Balance

by Maurie Backman | Published on Sept. 8, 2021

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A woman works out of her home office while also caring for a child.

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How far would you go for a better, more flexible job schedule?

When the coronavirus pandemic first hit, people all over the country were told to pack up their desks and prepare to work remotely for a handful of weeks. Little did we know back then that roughly 18 months later, many of us would still be doing our jobs from home.

While remote work hasn't been a great fit for everyone, a lot of people have enjoyed the flexibility of not having to report to an office. And some have managed to pad their savings accounts over the past year and a half by not spending money on commuting and other expenses that come with leaving the house every day.

At this point, a lot of companies are firming up office reopening plans, and that means many remote work arrangements will soon come to an end. That's not necessarily a great thing, though.

In a recent Upwork survey, 34% of remote workers said they are not excited about returning to an office. And some workers even said they'd take a pay cut or consider taking one if that meant they could work remotely as often as they'd like.

But at the same time, around 60% of workers surveyed said they're not willing to take a pay cut to maintain the flexibility of remote work. And those people may be doing themselves a big disservice.

The upside of remote work

Remote work doesn't just result in savings on commuting and other expenses. It can also make for a better work-life balance.

People who work remotely get the option to tackle small household tasks during the day that can easily become burdensome at night, once workday fatigue starts to set in. And remote workers can also benefit from not spending time sitting in traffic on their way to and from the office. What's more, some workers commute via bus or train, and they're stuck to that timetable. Shedding that commute could be crucial to a happier existence.

Should you take a pay cut to work remotely?

If your employer is willing to let you work remotely in exchange for a pay cut, it could pay to take your company up on that offer. For one thing, if you'll be remote full-time, you may have the option to relocate to a part of the country with a lower cost of living. This could help compensate for the hit your income takes.

But even if you do wind up with less money overall, it may be worth it for the sake of your well-being. Not having to commute could shave hours off of your schedule, leaving you with more time to sleep, cook, exercise, and do other things that promote good health. So if you can afford to see your earnings go down, it might be worthwhile to accept a lower salary in exchange for a better quality of life.

Going from remote work to reporting to an office may be a harsh adjustment you'd rather not deal with. If that's the case, talk to your employer about your options. If you're willing to part with a bit of money, your employer may be amenable to a remote work arrangement if it results in some company savings. And that way, you both win.

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