FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Time vs. Money

If you had the choice, would you rather have a $5,000 raise, or the equivalent in time off from work? Salary.com asked this question in a survey in November, and the results were surprising.

Although the majority of respondents (61%) said they'd take the money, 39% chose the time off. This is significant because the number of those who wanted time off rose by 20% since Salary.com conducted a similar poll three years ago.

Does this suggest a shift in values among American workers? The poll wasn't a scientific survey, but it could indicate changing attitudes about work that could shape the workplace of the future. Possible causes for this shift include:

  • A new generation entering the workforce that's more concerned with values and family than personal wealth.
  • A general sense of burnout and overwork. After all, what good is money if you don't have the time to spend it?
  • Less allegiance to employers as downsizing and outsourcing shake long-term career prospects.

Salary.com predicts that employers will respond to these concerns by offering more generous vacation packages. This will become increasingly important as Baby Boomers retire and the labor market tightens.