work life balance

Is Work-Life Balance More Valuable Than a 20% Raise?

A proper work-life balance can help reduce stress, prevent burnout, and improve productivity in the workplace. It also helps individuals spend quality time with their family and friends, pursue hobbies and interests, and care for their health. Overall, it’s crucial for a happy and fulfilling life at home and work. But what is the true value of work-life balance?

One user on a popular online forum faced this dilemma: work-life balance or a 20% raise. For her story, we’ll call her Joan.

Joan’s Story

Joan works in information technology (IT) in a job that doesn’t pay outstanding but comes with outstanding perks. She likes the job and the company–she feels appreciated despite the poor pay.

A recruiter put her in touch with a managed IT firm for small businesses. After interviewing, she was offered the job with a 20% raise. The trade-off: no teleworking or hybrid schedules, with everything else being the same or worse. In the end, she turned down the offer.

Joan’s Dilemma

Turning down the offer, left Joan feeling crazy, but happy. So, she came to the forum to see what others thought of her story.

Forum Input

For most of the readers, the recommendation was to consider all the pros and cons before making a decision. If the raise were substantial or had a significant impact on her quality of life, many believed it would be worth it. Someone brought up the non-monetary costs of taking the higher paying job such as transportation time and costs. Others said to consider up the cost of work clothes to go into the office, social interactions if you’re not a people person, and the politics of working in the office.

Another wrote, “I turned down a 43% raise going to a new company and industry, why? Work would jump from 40 hours a week to 60-70 easily and 5 days in office with nights and weekends scattered throughout.” And someone else, “I’m seriously wishing I could just take a pay cut for that sort of work-life balance. The sticking point for me is I think it would be probably more than a 50% pay cut, and there’s no guarantee the next job will be any better. So, it feels like my only option is to suffer and stack that cash until I can FIRE. In 8 years…”

Can Money Buy Happiness

Money can contribute to happiness, but it is not the sole factor that determines happiness. Research suggests that once a person’s basic needs are met, such as food, shelter, and clothing, additional money does not necessarily lead to increased happiness.

Other factors such as social connections, meaningful relationships, personal growth, and a sense of purpose also significantly determine happiness. Therefore, while money can provide temporary pleasure and comfort, it cannot guarantee long-term happiness. It looks like Joan made the right decision for her.

What do you think? Should this Redditor take the new job with a 20% raise or keep her work-life balance job that makes her happy? This article was inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Practigal Blog.

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