More Money or More Free Time?

Which would you rather have: More flexibility at work or a higher salary? This is the opening line of the article, but a very critical question regarding our lives in the working world.  According to the survey by Citigroup and LinkedIn, 64% of people are more likely to get more flexibility at work than a pay raise. This seems fairly reasonable, but once the raise hits 20%, the people that want more flexibility decreases to about 47% and finally a 30% raise drastically decreases flexibility favorers to 28%. This article demonstrates how managers can create a happier work environment with a little more flexibility.

At my current job, my boss is extremely flexible as long as I am in on Fridays to do our weekly payables. I don’t have my own family to go home to, but my substitution for that is being a student. My boss offers me days off when midterms and finals are around because he understands the importance of school. I’ve seen some people at work needing to attend family issues without causing a negative atmosphere at work. My firm really does a good job in understanding what employees really value, and that could be a really big reason why we are constantly growing every year with a friendly vibe around the office.

However, overall it seems that people do feel that a work-life balance is desirable. This article then transitions to viewing woman and men and their views on a work-life balance. Apparently, more than half of men talk about a work-life balance to other men, while 78% of woman said they never heard a successful man talk about the difficulties with work and home. Both men and women want to have a work-life balance, but it seems that men don’t generally speak about these issues with woman. Perhaps this is some sort of patriarchal agenda men feel they have to uphold. Being in the year 2014, patriarchal mindsets are declining and more and more men are becoming more vocal. Max Schireson quit his job as a CEO from a billion dollar company to spend more time with his family.

I’ve noticed myself talking to both genders about working and being at school. I manage it fairly well, but when it comes to school it always trumps working. It really just depends on the person you are and especially your age. Coming out of school with a degree, I’m positive these young individuals will focus on their career, but as time progresses their views can change.

So this leaves this question: Would you rather have more flexibility or a higher salary? Does your age or gender lead you to choose one over the other?


10 thoughts on “More Money or More Free Time?

  1. Currently in a position as a soon to be graduate where I have to determine the worth of my work environment vs. paycheck, I found this article extremely relevant and applicable. I recently discovered the value in taking a pay decrease for work flexibility as well as culture. While it may be discouraging at first, as the year slowly yet surely continues on it is valuable to know your co-workers and superiors value your life outside work as much as inside it. Taking an additional personal day, or perhaps simply utilizing one’s benefits without hesitation and fear of judgement, can truly go a long way in not only motivation at work but also one’s view of their co-workers and leaders. While I can understand the difference in percentages of men vs. women, I feel the importance of work culture for millennial’s in general has been becoming a more important aspect of a any job offer and its acceptance.

  2. Personally, I would choose a higher salary than flexibility. I’d rather have money that provides stability, instead of extra free time that I particularly do not need. I think age does factor into one’s decision; at certain ages, one might want more of a social life, as opposed to someone at a different (possibly older) age that wants financial stability for themselves and their family.

    I also feel that gender contributes to this decision. I read an article for my philosophy class about women and their roles in the workplace, and the article reiterated the point that we all have grown accustomed to: men are typically the breadwinners, and women are at home with the children. However, as we’ve seen women progress in the workplace, I still feel like it has become more of a challenge for women to balance both work and family, along with financial stability and free time.

    1. I agree with you in your second paragraph. The whole lifestyle of men being breadwinners still seems to be around today, but I think the U.S is coming out of that phase a lot faster than other countries. From my experiences in Poland, it seems like they have a high patriarchal lifestyle. The United States is a lot different, and I can see it going in a different direction by the time we are retired.

  3. I believe that I would prefer to have a golden middle. I think “money” is important as it gives you a potential to live with a certain level of comfort that you desire while the “time” gives you allows you to use that money to realize your potential.

    I think it is a conversation that you should have with your spouse as it will allow you to align your goals with her/his and figure things out!

  4. Great topic, I am a female graduating in June and believe that I would rather have a higher salary and less flexible hours post graduation. However when I get married and begin to have children, I want to be around for my children. I do not want a nanny taking my kids around, I want to be there for them. So it depends on age, and gender a little bit when you are growing your family in my opinion. But after their youth when they are in school from 9-4 I see myself with a higher salary and less flexible hours.

    1. I like your mindset, I feel like I was raised the way you just explained how you want to live your life in the future. My mom always picked me up when I needed to be picked up for something during my dad’s work hours. Now that both my parents work full-time jobs they have to base it off of who is closer, and who is more flexible to leave. When my parents first came here to the country, my dad’s job was everything for my family. But I still think my mom would like to raise us rather than a nanny so she had to be more flexible with work.

  5. Like a previous commenter has said I think your question would have different answers depending on where you are in life in regards to age, financial status, social life, etc. Right now I would work more for a higher salary/ I already work full-time because I need the money. If i can make more I would jump on the opportunity instantly. I feel like when I am older I want to be able to spend more time with my family and hopefully by then I can afford to not work as much since I already put in the leg work while I was younger. I also feel like men do not tell women as much about their issues because of society pressures. And even though society has come along way from only seeing the man as the breadwinner while the women stay at home, I still feel this patriarchal ideal continues to echo in society.

  6. This post is relevant because we live in a very fast pace society. I think the choice between flexibility and making more money is a very objective topic. Every one of us has different priorities. If I was to choose, I would definitely choose the flexibility over higher pay. Majority of us spend approximately 2-3 hours a day on travel to/from work and home, getting tired and often frustrated on other drivers. Even though, someone picks the choice of making more money, to me being able to spend valuable time with my family, and being able to save money on commute cost is…priceless!

  7. I agree with work-life balance but would prefer flexibility at work more than higher salary. We are in a very fast demanding life, and from a perspective of a working mother, work-life balance most of the times doesn’t work as our family obligations and commitments raise, we have to sacrifice a lot of our family time or not be able to attend to family issues because of work time strictness. Therefore, flexibility would work with women in general more than men as it will enable them to respond to their family responsibilities rather than being frustrated of miss management thus gradually lose interest in work. Speaking of myself, being a mother of three children (two of them teenagers), a full time employee, and a MBA student, honestly, I don’t know how I’m managing, but I’m regrettably admitting that I’m missing lots of fun moments with my family and continuing to have conflict . It’s deemed necessary considering flexitime as the speed of technology nowadays can allow us to accomplish more work sufficiently at our ease, and consequently, elevate performance and productivity.

  8. I believe that work environment, flexibility and high salary are very important factors for all workers, but I think it is very rare to find a workplace that provides flexibility and high salaries at the same time. When it comes to choose between flexibility and high salary, I think it would depend on the personal circumstances and the financial status. For example, most of the women who have families will choose flexibility. On the other hand, I think most of the men will choose high salary since they have many commitments toward their families.

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