Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

One in two working people would take a pay cut for better work-life balance

52 percent of employees questioned for this major survey say they would be willing to see their salary drop by 20 percent if it would enable them to take their foot off the pedal at work and, therefore, have a better work-life balance

Published: Feb 3, 2024 08:42:34 AM IST
Updated: Feb 2, 2024 02:58:57 PM IST

One in two working people would take a pay cut for better work-life balance Young people are more likely than their elders to accept a pay cut in exchange for assurance that their professional life will not encroach on their private life. Image: Shutterstock

Maintaining a balance between personal and professional life is the ultimate goal for many employees. However, working people often struggle to manage the boundaries between these two worlds. To remedy this, some are prepared to make major concessions, according to a Ford survey.

In fact, 52% of employees questioned for the purposes of this major survey* say they would be willing to see their salary drop by 20% if it would enable them to take their foot off the pedal at work and, therefore, have a better work-life balance.

Interestingly, this figure varies according to nationality and age group. Nearly 70% of Thai respondents say they would consider such an arrangement, compared to just 40% of Mexicans. Younger generations are also more likely than their elders to accept a pay cut in exchange for assurance that their professional obligations will not encroach on their private lives.

However, this does not mean that working people are not attached to their professional lives. The overwhelming majority of respondents (80%) say they feel committed to their current job. They are not, however, prepared to make every sacrifice to advance their careers: three quarters of those surveyed don't think it's a good idea to work in a job that makes them more stressed on a daily basis.

And they're not wrong. Specialists agree that stress has a considerable impact not only on quality of life at work, but also on a company's finances. It contributes to a deterioration in employees' mental health, with repercussions on absenteeism and staff turnover.

Also read: How to keep employees productive: Support caregivers


Organizations are well aware of this, and are increasingly putting in place measures to promote a better work-life balance, such as remote working, unlimited leave and the four-day week. But, according to the survey's respondents, companies would do well to look to artificial intelligence to support their employees' well-being. In fact, 60% of them believe that this technology will enable them, in the long term, to better manage their professional and personal responsibilities.

*The Ford Trends 2024 survey was carried out among 16,086 employees in 16 countries, including France, the USA, Brazil and China. Data was collected between August 11 and September 1, 2023.