Work-life balance versus salary has been an age-old debate, and it’s one that everyone has a very subjective opinion on.
Just Googling “work-life balance versus salary” will bring up countless opinion pieces on the topic, and many authors have concluded that one’s time is invaluable when compared to money.
“Money can’t buy you happiness” is another phrase we often hear, and it appears to be the general consensus that work-life balance is one of the key factors that contribute to an employee’s overall happiness.
Previously, research published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal has even stated that people who prioritise time over money experience greater overall happiness.
The researchers from UCLA and the University of Pennsylvania conducted five studies involving 4,415 people with different incomes, employment statuses along with other demographic differences.
However, as mentioned, the debate of salary versus work-life balance is based on subjective opinions, which vary depending on an individual’s current situation.
Not everyone has the privilege of receiving a high salary while still being able to enjoy work-life balance. Realistically, we usually have to sacrifice one for the other.
Therefore, we’ve created this questionnaire for fellow Malaysians to have their say on this matter. After all, what makes someone else happy might not necessarily make you happy.
In my personal opinion based on my current situation, I wouldn’t mind sacrificing my time for more money.
Which Is More Important To You?
We’ve come up with 3 different and hypothetical scenarios and a questionnaire to gauge what matters more to Malaysians: a higher salary with more working hours, or more free time for a lower salary? To summarise, would you prioritise your salary over work-life balance?
Regardless of the scenario you pick, work-related stress is a present factor. The amount of time you spend working is the amount of time you’re faced by work-related stress.
For example, someone in Scenario #1 is often stressed throughout the day, week, month and year. On the other hand, someone in Scenario #3 is free of stress on their weekends, public holidays and leaves.
The working hours for all scenarios are 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM.
Scenario #1: The No-Life, High-Flyer
- You earn RM8,000 to RM10,000 a month.
- You have no work-life balance.
- You come into work on-time or earlier but have to work overtime every day.
- Staying back until 11 PM or later is a regular workday for you, and you often have to work on weekends too (two weekends a month).
- You work on most public holidays, and only 20% of your requests for a leave will be approved.
- During non-working hours, you’re always expected to reply to work-related messages or emails.
Scenario #2: The Average Salaryman/woman
- You earn RM5,000 to RM6,000 a month.
- You have some semblance of a work-life balance.
- You’re able to enter the office on-time and mostly leave on time.
- However, every week, you have at least one day where you work overtime until 9PM.
- You occasionally have to work on weekends (about one weekend a month).
- You’re entitled to most public holidays, and 60% of your requests for a leave will be approved.
- During non-working hours, you still have to respond to urgent work-related matters.
Scenario #3: The “Money Can’t Buy You Happiness” Believer
- You earn RM3,000 to RM4,000 a month.
- You have great work-life balance.
- You enter the office on-time, and you leave the office on-time.
- You rarely have to work overtime, and your weekends are free of work-related matters.
- You’re entitled to every public holiday in Malaysia, and any leave you apply for is easily approved.
- During non-office hours, you don’t have to work or respond to work related emails/messages.
Based on your choice, we’d love to hear your reasons for choosing it, since everyone’s answers will differ based on your priorities and current situations.
Once we’ve compiled your opinions, we’ll be writing another piece to share our findings with you.
So, let us know what you personally think about salary versus work-life balance in this short questionnaire here!
- You can read more about what we’ve written on work-life balance here.