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espite the old adage of “do what you love and never you’ll never work a day in your life,” salary is still the top priority for most American workers, a new survey found.
A Washington Post-Ipsos poll of 1,148 workers between ages 18 to 64 highlighted the breadth of changes that have happened to the workplace over the past few years in regard to priorities and norms. Of those surveyed, 45% ranked pay as the most important factor in a job—a significant lead to the No. 2 most important factor (having a good boss) at 14%.
When it comes to working from home versus time in the office, money was still the top priority — 65% of remote-capable workers reported a willingness to take a higher-paying job even if it required regular time in the office, and only 35% said they would take a lower-paying role if it meant they’d be able to work from home.
However, among survey respondents already working from home, 55% said they’d accept a job with less pay if it meant they could continue to work remotely.
The biggest reason remote workers want to stay home? Avoiding the commute (45%), followed by childcare (14%), and the ability to focus better (13%). Of those who work remotely at least once a week, seven in 10 reported that the hybrid environment made their work-life balance easier.
Still, there are tradeoffs. About six in 10 hybrid and on-site workers reported having close relationships with coworkers, compared to less than half of those who are fully remote.
Since the widespread adoption of remote work during the pandemic, working from home has become a hot topic — and companies, workers, and CEOs appear to be split.
While some big companies like Airbnb have embraced a fully remote option for workers, others like Tesla have given workers an ultimatum if they don’t return to the office. Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared his stern opposition to remote work, calling it not only a productivity issue but a “moral” one.