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45% of U.S. Employees Would Give Up 10% of Their Salary for an Easier Work Life

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During the dramatic shift toward working from home, many employees have had to get into a new groove, find a way to handle communication snags and search for an ever-elusive work-life balance.

The 2021 Workplace Pulse survey from productivity platform ClickUp delves into the sentiments and experiences of U.S. workers more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many employees would cut salary, accept more stress at home to have an easier time at work

Nearly half (45%) of U.S. employees say they would give up 10% of their salary to have fewer work responsibilities. That percentage of employees increases to:

  • 60% of men ages 18 to 34
  • 56% of parents with children younger than 18

Further, 46% say they would take on additional stress at home if it meant less stress at work. That percentage of employees changes based on various breakdowns:

  • 57% of people ages 18 to 34
  • 54% of parents with children younger than 18
  • 47% of men
  • 45% of women
  • 40% of people without children

That there’s a marked difference between workers with children and those without points to the high costs of child care. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the average annual cost of child care in Alabama is $6,001, or $500 a month. Meanwhile, the average annual cost of child care in California is $16,945, or $1,412 a month.

What employees want from their workplaces

  • To be able to work remotely. More than half (54%) of employed Americans won’t work for a company that doesn’t offer remote work at least part of the time.
  • To be able to have a greater work-life balance. Nearly half (48%) of employees find it challenging to balance work and home life. Here’s a deeper breakdown of those employees who are struggling:
    • 60% of people ages 18 to 34
    • 59% of parents with children younger than 18
    • 56% of ages 35 to 44
    • 40% of people without children

Workplace tech troubles becoming more common

Many employees say they’re struggling with workplace engagement and productivity. In fact, more than half (51%) of working Americans say they lose at least one hour a day to inefficiency.

Among many other things, this can be feeling disconnected from team members on projects and tasks or being overwhelmed by your email inbox. In fact, half of U.S. employees say the need to stay on top of emails during the workday gets in the way of being productive.

Meanwhile, 52% of employees cite that feeling of workplace disconnectivity. It’s highest among:

  • People ages 18 to 34 (61%)
  • Parents with kids younger than 18 (58%)
  • Parents with children in the house (57%)

Interestingly, American workers either feel they have too many apps for work (46%) or not enough (42%).

How to ask your employer for pandemic accommodations

Whether you work for a large corporation or a small business, there are discussions you can have with your supervisor or boss if you’re feeling stressed or overworked.

It’s possible some of these topics have already been broached given the global pandemic, but here are some options if not:

  • Ask your supervisor or boss for greater schedule leeway
  • See if you can work remotely at least part of the time
  • Talk about what new technologies could help you work more efficiently

If you’re granted more flexibility, define your expectations and do a trial period to assess the results.

Methodology: On behalf of San Diego-based ClickUp, The Harris Poll conducted a survey from Feb. 2-4, 2021, of 1,132 employed American adults in the U.S.


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