Re-working work in a post-pandemic world

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How may the pandemic have shifted our attitudes towards how we earn money – namely, the relative importance of a satisfying lifestyle over a high salary? 

The results from our YouGov survey of more than 8,000 UK adults indicates that we’re increasingly finding work-life balance more worthwhile than pay. The shift we're seeing is a departure from worth being defined by material possessions to intangible things, such as relationships, health, home and our personal lives. 

Moving towards a 'working-to-live' society may be the key to happiness

Pre-pandemic, more than 24 million people commuted every day in England and Wales. Few commutes are stress-free, and the time taken up travelling can mean less time for friends, family or exercise. 

Fast forward to today, when working from home has become more common – and looks set to remain with us in some capacity for a while to come yet. Has spending more time in our homes brought into focus the importance of achieving a positive work-life balance?

of respondents said that work-life balance remains the most important thing when looking for a new job – beating money (22%). 

The research also shows that we consider our work less important than we did, with only four in ten (44%) UK adults saying their work is important, down from 64% in 2020.  

What had the most positive influence on our well-being?

Our results show that relationships with family members had the most positive influence on our overall sense of well-being, followed by our:

So, it would appear that this year, our respondents still place higher value on things money can't buy. 

Home is where the heart is

The normalisation of home working has made the phrase, home is where the heart is, more relevant than ever. This is shown in our research, with 71% of respondents telling us their homes positively influence their overall sense of well-being (an increase of 3% from 2020). This would suggest that the coronavirus pandemic has prompted us to re-evaluate our housing needs. 

What's more, our research shows that lots of young people are looking to buy a house, with 60% of 18–24-year-olds thinking it's worthwhile borrowing money to own their own home. With home working looking set to remain in some form or another, space is likely more of a necessity – which could be one of the factors encouraging young adults to consider getting on the housing ladder.   

The final word

A job is just one part of our lives, and the pandemic seems to have made many of us pause to consider what we value most from our jobs – and place a higher priority on our lifestyle and flexibility, rather than just pay.   

We hope you enjoyed our 2021 worth and value research as we explored what is changing - and staying the same - in regards to how UK adults save and invest money, spend money, and earn money. 

The content in this article is for information only and is not advice. All content in this article was accurate on the date of publication shown above.

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