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Work-Life Balance Tops Money in Defining Success

work-life balance, family, career, word tiles

Desire for a successful career and full life influences job choice.

Global research from Accenture, titled ‘Defining Success', has found that more than two-thirds of professionals around the world say they can “have it all.”

In fact, both a successful career and a full life outside work are important. Many choose a job based on its potential impact on work-life balance.

84% of both gender groups in South African believe they can have a successful career and a full life outside work.

However, 49% also said they cannot “have it all at the same time.”

Further, more than half 67% have turned down a job due to concerns about its impact on work-life balance.

In fact, work-life balance tops respondents’ definitions of career success (56%), ahead of money (54%), recognition (36%) and autonomy (44%).

“Over the course of their careers, professionals will continue to define and re-define what success looks like,” said Monica Rubombora, managing executive for talent and organisation practice at Accenture South Africa.

“For many, career goals and personal priorities will take precedence at different times.

As today’s professionals strive to find the right balance. Leading companies will find innovative ways to help them develop, grow and thrive.”

The research also found that technology plays a role in achieving work-life balance, although respondents express mixed feelings about its impact on their personal lives.

More than three quarters (82%) agree technology enables them to be more flexible with their schedules.

84% report flexibility in their work schedule is very important to work-life balance. Yet 80% say technology brings work into their personal lives.

“The fact that work-life balance continues to be critically important to employees holds tremendous significance for employers,” said Nicky Moses, Human Resources Director, Accenture SA.

“Companies that can help their employees navigate both their professional and personal lives are likely to see strong employee engagement. [They] enjoy an advantage as they recruit and retain high performers.”

The Accenture research also covers a wide range of work-related topics that help define success in the workplace, including:

• Job Satisfaction: In the current survey, 53% of women and 50% of men globally say they are satisfied with their jobs and not looking for new opportunities.

Compared with last year’s research 3% of women and 41% of men, with 42% overall in SA, expressed satisfaction.

• Rewarding workplaces: When asked what words describe a good work environment, rewarding (86%) tops respondents’ lists.
Honest (66%), flexible (60%), interesting (64%) and fun (61%) follow.

• Tenure: Two-thirds of women (66%) and three-quarters of men (75%), with 75% overall in SA, have been with their current employers for more than 4 years.

• Pay raises: The majority of global respondents (58% of women; 64% of men) and 63% overall in SA have asked for or negotiated a pay raise.

These findings continue a steady upward trend: 49% of women and 57% of men in our 2012 research have asked for or negotiated a pay raise.

Meanwhile, 44% of women and 48% of men in the 2011 survey did the same.

• Vacation and work: Three-quarters (79%) of respondents report they work frequently or occasionally during paid time off.

81% check emails, 51% catch up on work, 42% work with no distractions, 27% participate in conference calls. Meanwhile, 34% work just like on a regular work day

At the same time, 58% consider themselves workaholics.

• Leaving: Top reasons for leaving a job include responsibilities don’t match a job description (36%), pay (38 percent) and uninteresting work (34%).

• Job search: 3 things respondents do to start a job search include: looking on job boards for open positions (32%), contacting friends and others in their networks (18%), updating online profiles (19%) and contacting recruiters (26%).

Accenture will celebrate International Women’s Day in approximately 40 countries, with a focus on its global women’s theme: Defining success. Your way.

Pic Credit: Lee, New Consultant HQ

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