Sixty per cent of Canadian employees say they’d be willing to accept a lower salary in exchange for flexible working hours or a remote working arrangement, according to a new survey by the Harris Poll on behalf of Express Services Inc.

The survey, which polled more than 500 employers and more than 500 employees, found 79 per cent of employees cited work-life balance as their No. 1 factor when considering a new job, followed by salary (77 per cent), benefits (71 per cent), job duties and responsibilities (68 per cent) and personal fulfillment at work (63 per cent).

Nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) of employees said flexible working hours are an essential component of a job, while nearly half (45 per cent) said the same about remote working (45 per cent).

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The survey also found 85 per cent of employers said that, over the last three years, employees have defined success through work-life balance instead of climbing the corporate ladder.

In addition to the emphasis on work-life balance, diversity, equity and inclusion is an increasingly important consideration among job seekers. The vast majority of employers and employees (85 per cent each) said it’s essential for a company not only to be diverse, equitable and inclusive but also to create an environment where employees genuinely feel a sense of belonging.

“Employers can empower job seekers by fostering a workplace culture that embraces flexibility and inclusivity,” said Bill Stoller, chief executive officer of Express Services, in a press release. “By recognizing and accommodating the diverse needs of their workforces, organizations not only attract top talent but also nurture an environment where both employees and the company can thrive.”

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