Friday Forum – Flexibility or Higher Salary?

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Welcome to the Friday Forum!

Every Friday, we take a question submitted by one of our users and have our professionals field it and provide advice.  We then encourage members of the Need a New Gig community to comment below and give their take!

Here is This Week’s Question:

Sandra asks:

“I have been interviewing and was recently offered two similar positions, but I am having a tough time deciding which is the best fit for me.  One opportunity offers better pay, while the other offers more flexibility.  Do you think that compensation or flexibility is more important?”

This is a question that has come up more frequently, as employers continue to adapt and offer a more flexible workspace.  When comparing flexibility to compensation, one isn’t necessarily more important than the other.  It really comes down to your personal situation and preference.  Let’s look at the pros of each scenario.

Higher Salary/Less Flexibility

The first thing to to consider for a higher salary/less flexibility role is just that – salary.  If you are a money-motivated individual and don’t care about flexibility, then you may already be leaning in this direction.  But what are the other benefits to less flexibility and set work hours?

Time Management

One of the best things about working in the office, is that most businesses usually have fixed hours.  This means that you will have a set start, lunch, and end time.  By having a set schedule, it will help keep you disciplined, and it will take away any outside distractions.

Working and Interacting With Others In Person

This may sound silly, but it is actually a nice benefit of being in the office.  By interacting with individuals in person on a regular basis, it helps enhance your interpersonal skills and professionalism.  You will learn how to carry yourself and interact with many different levels of people, which will also further improve your communication skills.  It is much easier to collaborate as a team, and it will also help develop solid leadership skills.

Keep Work and Life Separate

Another advantage of having a set work schedule is that you can keep your work and personal life separate.  When you are in the office, you can get your work done, and once you are off the clock, you can leave your work there.  Sometimes if you have a flexible schedule and work from home, it is difficult to “turn it off” or get away from your work.

You are Available

If you have a set schedule, everyone in the company knows when are where you are.  This means that if someone needs something, they can come right to you and discuss it.  It also means that if you have an issue or need help, you can go to the right person immediately.

More Flexibility/ Lower Salary

If salary isn’t you main motivation, you may choose to look at the benefits of having flexibility.  Depending on your situation, there are many pros to having a flexible schedule.

Time

One of the greatest advantages to having flexibility is simply the time you save.  You don’t have to worry about an hour commute, or even getting up early to put on your shirt and tie.

Savings

Depending on your individual situation, there are many ways to actually save money when it comes to having greater flexibility.  Even if you are only working from home a day or two a week, it can cut down on fuel costs, wear and tear on your vehicle, childcare, lunch costs, etc.  Over time, these can compound and really add up to some solid savings.

Ability to Manage Yourself and Your Schedule

Another benefit to having flexibility is that you don’t have anyone looking over your shoulder.  You have the ability to manage your schedule and get your work done around your schedule.  If you  work better in the evening as opposed to first thing in the morning, you can do this as long as your work is complete.

Convenience

Flexibility can be very convenient depending on your personal situation and things going on in your life.  It can offer you the ability to create your schedule around school events, sports, activities, doctor appointments, etc.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many pros and cons to both sides.  At the end of the day, it will come down to what is most important to you.  One is simply not better than the other.  There are certain positions where flexibility just isn’t an option as you need to be there in order to perform the task.  If you do find yourself in a position where you are weighing flexibility versus salary, be sure to create a pro and con list and see what fits your own personal situation the best.

Looking For More Insight?

The Resilient Recruiter has also tackled this question from a recruiter’s perspective.  Take a look at Is Flexibility More Important Than A Higher Salary? to see a different take on the topic!

What are Your Thoughts? Comment Below!

Dan Metz is the Director of Executive Search and Employee Development at the Resilience Group, LLC, and Co-Founder and Contributing Author for Need a New Gig.  Follow his blog for more great tips like this!

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