Roughly 50% of workers would willingly take a pay cut of 2% or 5% in a job change if they could meet at least one "non-financial goal" that improved their work experience, according to the latest edition of LinkedIn's Workforce Confidence survey, George Anders reports for LinkedIn.
Survey details and key findings
To create the Workforce Confidence Index, LinkedIn distributes a quantitative online survey to its U.S.-based members through email every two weeks. On average, around 5,000 members reply to each wave. To get an accurate representation of active members of the U.S. workforce, LinkedIn excludes students, stay-at-home partners, and retirees. Then, they randomly sample members who opt in to participate.
For the survey, LinkedIn asked workers to gauge the importance of eight non-financial goals and asked if they would change jobs and take a pay cut to achieve any of the goals.
In total, about 46% of employed Americans responded "No" for every single goal, suggesting many workers would be unwilling to take a pay cut for any reason. However, about half said they would willingly trade some money—2% or 5% of their current income—if a job change would upgrade their work lives in at least one area.
Overall, younger workers were most willing to sacrifice money in pursuit of a better work situation. Workers ages 57 and older were most likely to stay with their current salaries in lieu of non-financial goals.
On average, U.S. workers at all ages said they would take a 2% or 5% pay cut for four of the eight non-financial goals, including:
- More enjoyable work (33%)
- Better work/life balance (33%)
- More flexibility to work onsite/remote (27%)
- Stronger chance to grow in the role (26%)
According to the index, millennials were the age group most committed to achieving a "better work/life balance"—likely because many of them must balance work obligations with parenting responsibilities.
In addition, the "flexibility to work onsite or remote" was especially appealing to millennials—with 36% of them claiming they would be willing to take a pay cut for increased flexibility.
Among Gen Z respondents, the most appealing trade-off was "a stronger chance to grow in the role," with 40% of them claiming they would sacrifice some pay for this opportunity—far above millennials (32%), Gen X (30%), and baby boomers (20%).
Ultimately, LinkedIn's Workforce Confidence survey highlights "the importance of non-cash factors, such as enjoyable work, fulfillment and better work-life balance, in terms of how we all feel about our jobs," Anders writes. (Anders, LinkedIn, 4/6)