The majority of UK workers would choose better work/life balance over higher pay (61 per cent vs. 39 per cent) in both their current and future jobs, according to the latest Amex Trendex report1 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 per cent) 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 per cent) and getting along with colleagues (51 per cent). Work/life balance was also the top priority when looking for a new job (77 per cent), 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 per cent), the ability to work from anywhere (56 per cent) and more paid time off (49 per cent) 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 per cent of UK respondents say they are likely to take one in 2024, compared to 93 per cent in India, and 58 per cent in both the US and Japan.

“Our research uncovers some valuable insights for business leaders seeking to motivate their employees and build a productive workforce,” says Stacey Sterbenz, General Manager, UK Commercial at American Express. “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.”

Other UK survey findings include:

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

The Amex Trendex is a trend index that tracks how consumers, small businesses, and retailers are feeling about spending, saving, travelling and more. The survey does not represent Amex customer spending data or trends.

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