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Out of Our Minds
Thursday, January 20, 2005 11:20 AM
Who's Surprised by This?
Kevin Salwen on Culture

The folks over at salary.com asked on their website the simple question: 'Which would you prefer, a $5,000 increase in your base pay or the equivalent in time off?' Nearly 2 out of 5 workers (39%) said time off -- nearly double the results of a similar poll just three years ago.

The salary.com article goes on to quote Ellen Galinsky, president and co-founder of the Families and Work Institute: 'This new generation of workers is at the edge of how long they can work. It just feels like too much. They are not slackers, they just don't want more.'

A surprise in all this? Maybe that 60% of respondents still are willing to swap their hours for dollars. But at a time when companies crow about productivity gains and workers often have all the job satisfaction of 1905 meat packers, my bet is that 40-60 split will be reversed in the next five years.


Andertoons - 1/24/2005 10:30:49 PM
I've always preferred time off to more dough and many of my friends/co-workers ridiculed me for it. Good to know I have some company!
Theresa in Oakland - 1/20/2005 4:02:29 PM
I've thought this way nearly my entire adult life, but it hasn't mattered much. As long as there's a vast pool of unemployed or underemployed workers, just chomping at the bit to replace you, does it really matter what employees' attitudes are? Corporations will continue to say 'my way or the highway' as long people have families to feed, and as long as health insurance is virtually unobtainable as an individual. At my husbands' workplace, it's 'work 60+ hours a week, or else'. I don't know what the answer is, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for corporations to make their employees' lives easier. I'd send money to the first politician that called for a return to the 40-hour work week.
Lisa Haneberg - 1/20/2005 1:11:29 PM
I agree that the tide is changing on attitudes toward endless work hours. I think one of the reasons more people would still take the $5,000 is because they think that taking the time would make them seem selfish. They and their families have bills, needs, and wants. But really, when we are 90 years old and we look back on what mattered most (relationships, time spent together) taking the $5,000 might be the more selfish option.

A am proud to say that I am a recovering yuppie, been 'sober' for years but still would give pause before choosing between money and time.


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