Huntsville, Ont. Employees have long focused on two incentives: pay and benefits when deciding on a potential employer or sticking with their current employer.

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However, a new survey from ADP Canada and Maru Public Opinion Found that the pandemic has changed our priorities. Respondents are now prioritizing work-life balance as a top factor in staying with their current employer and exploring new opportunities.

The lifestyle has gone under the microscope with 15 percent of survey respondents who have either voluntarily transitioned to a new position or industry or left the workforce altogether. When the number of people working remotely is small, it clearly outweighs the ability to work from home as 22 per cent decided it was time for a change.


The ability to work remotely has certainly been a game changer, but more importantly, many people reported that it improves balance and the desire to improve their personal lives (33 percent), reducing workloads and stress. Limiting (29 percent) is about wanting more. Flexible hours (28 percent) to meet the top three key issues contributing to a focus on work-life balance.

The pandemic proved that many people can work anywhere, anytime and what started as a temporary gap measure has quickly turned into a hopeful one. In fact, 9 out of 10 remote workers would like to work remotely at least some of the time. The result is that 31 per cent of respondents say that work-life balance is more important to them now than salary being the major driver (20 per cent).

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Several other reports have expressed concern over shaky workloads with employees burning out, lack of support and blurring boundaries between their personal and professional lives. Work and life are not separate entities, they are interconnected. This past year has made it quite clear.

These data points are important.

According to the survey, 19 percent of those employed have been approached by a competing employer offering better working conditions in the past six months. When asked about their next work-life move, 63 percent of Canadians have started thinking about it.

Bottom line: The war for talent is real. Salary now appears to be a secondary consideration, with 32 percent of respondents saying that a workplace that respects their work-life balance is more important to them looking for a job.