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What Do Workers Value More Than Money? Not Much, Actually

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Woman holding chalk drawing of money tree (Image credit: Money tree image via <a href=""target="_blank" >Shutterstock</a> )

What kind of job benefits do workers value more than money? Not much, actually.

Workers value financial compensation much more than time away from work, with nearly 80 percent preferring a 5 percent raise over an extra week of paid vacation, according to a new study from the recruiting and placement firm Accounting Principals.

The research shows that when it comes to job negotiations, employees are most likely to focus on money over any other perk. Specifically, 30 percent of those surveyed would negotiate for a higher salary, while  15 percent would seek a flexible schedule  and 10 percent, additional time off. [7 Signs It's Time to Quit Your Job]

U.S. workers also aren't interested in giving up any of their salary to have a little extra time off each week. The study found that 85 percent of employees wouldn't forfeit any amount of their salary in order to shorten their work day by one hour, while 77 percent are unwilling to give up any amount of salary to have one day cut out of their workweek.

"We are now more than five years after the recession began and while unemployment numbers continue to decrease, working Americans are clearly still feeling financially insecure," said Jodi Chavez, senior vice president for Accounting Principals. "For these hard workers, the value of that extra money in their pocket to help with bills or put toward savings far outweighs any other type of perk, such as more vacation time or a shorter workweek."

Researchers attribute much of this thinking to the fact that many employees believe they are not fully feeling the benefit of extra money they've already received. While nearly 60 percent of American workers received a raise last year, only 16 percent think it improved their lifestyle.

The study discovered that compared to their Gen X and baby boomer peers, millennials  were the most likely generation to feel an improvement in their lifestyle from a raise.

While money may be their driving force, there are some perks – those that would help them save time – that employees would enjoy. Specifically, 28 percent would like an onsite gym at their workplace, 13 percent want an onsite cafeteria, while 10 percent prefer onsite doctors or health services.

"Workers may be ultimately choosing money over time, but they still highly value and prioritize what they do with their spare time," Chavez said. "Giving employees a few options for workplace perks that help them maximize their time between work and life will help keep them satisfied and motivated." 

The study was based on surveys of 1,024 employees over age 18.

Originally published on Business News Daily.