Top 10 things that people want from work

Other than pay, working hours was cited as the most important factor

Working hours has emerged as one of the most important factors people consider when thinking about a new job or career, second only to salary, research has revealed.

A survey of 2,000 adults, commissioned by the Oxford Open Learning Trust, found that while money was the biggest motivator behind career choice (64%), more than half of respondents cited working hours as an important factor (55%).

Dr Nick Smith, founder of the Oxford Open Learning Trust, said: “Moving jobs is one way of achieving a lifestyle shift and it’s really interesting to see the main reasons why people are looking to make such changes.

Top 10 factors when choosing a new job

1. Salary: 64%
2. Working hours: 55%
3=. Location: 50%
3=. Personal interest / enjoyment: 50%
5. Job security: 40%
6. Working environment: 37%
7. Opportunities for progression: 26%
8. Opportunities for training / learning a new skill: 23%
9. The opinions of my family / partner: 12%
10. Status: 9%

“While money is always going to be an important consideration, it is pleasing to see that the nation is looking after their own interests too, with things like location and enjoyment listed highly.”

The research, released ahead of National Work Life Week, also identified “personal interest / enjoyment” as the joint third most considered aspect during a job search process with half of those surveyed saying they would look for jobs which aligned with their personal interests.

The research, by YouGov, found that more than a quarter of British workers (28%) were considering switching careers in the next decade, while 13% were possibly looking to move within the next four years.

Fifty-eight per cent said they would consider training or retraining for a new career. This figure rises to around two thirds (66%) among current workers.

The survey was commissioned as the Oxford Open Learning Trust launched Profession Picker, a tool to help adults thinking of making a career change.

One Response to Top 10 things that people want from work

  1. John Varney 1 Oct 2018 at 12:29 pm #

    It strikes me that this research is embedded in the 9-5 (or is the 8-8) work paradigm. It views what we come to call “work” from within the framework of work – it is self-referential.

    When we get people away from work so that they can develop, we have a short window that exists outside that frame of reference and so new possibilities arise. The prevailing paradigm limits what you can imagine – but step outside of it and imagination is relatively free.

    What is most important in life is meaning. we all want to be doing something that is worthwhile. Of course we need to provide for our families – money, time, relationships.
    That is an oxygen – necessary but not sufficient.

    My reading of the research, as outlined above, is that, beyond the basics, life fulfilment depends upon the significance of our contributions. In any working context it is possible for everyone to find a significant role – if not then go elsewhere.

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