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Healthy work-life balance tops UK workers’ list of priorities

The majority of UK workers would choose better work-life balance over higher pay (61% vs. 39%) in both their current and future jobs, according to the latest Amex Trendex report which reveals consumer trends and priorities for 2024. According to the global report, based on a survey of adults from the UK, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico, and the United States, personal wellness, work-life balance and the environment are seen as priorities for this year.

Looking specifically at the UK, the survey found that almost three-quarters (71%) of UK workers say having a good work-life balance is the main reason for job satisfaction – the highest of all markets surveyed, trumping salary (60%) and getting along with colleagues (51%). Work-life balance was also the top priority when looking for a new job (77%), more so than respondents from any other country.

When it comes to the factors contributing to a healthy work-life balance, UK workers rank flexible hours (72%), the ability to work from anywhere (56%) and more paid time off (49%) as most important.

However, despite flexibility ranking as most important, UK employees are among the least likely to work from an alternative location without taking time off, otherwise known as ‘workcation’; just 37% of UK respondents say they are likely to take one in 2024, compared to 93% in India, and 58% in both the US and Japan.

Stacey Sterbenz, General Manager, UK Commercial at American Express, said: “Our research uncovers some valuable insights for business leaders seeking to motivate their employees and build a productive workforce. From small businesses to larger organisations, those that foster an environment promoting healthy work-life balance, including opportunities to work flexibly, will boost job satisfaction and drive competitive advantage.”

American Express’ Business and Corporate Cards offer business leaders and their employees the ability to earn Membership Rewards® on everyday business spending, which can be redeemed for a range of rewards that best support their work-life balance goals.

Other UK survey findings include:

  • Physical wellness goals make the list for 2024 focus, including eating healthier (78%), and participating in more outdoor activities (68%) among those setting physical wellness goals.
  • Among those setting personal finance goals, top reasons for doing so include being financially independent and empowered (50%), followed by saving for a holiday (42%).
  • Respondents are looking to improve their personal sustainability in 2024, including improving their recycling habits at home (45%) and using public transport more often (37%) among those setting sustainability habit goals.

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