Workers’ values are changing. These days, millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, and that’s shifting work culture. This generation cares about things like flexibility, inspiration, and purpose as much as, or even more than, they care about money. So, might this generation be on to something? When you stop and think about it, there are a lot of reasons why time is actually way more valuable than money. Here are a few things to consider about this comparison.
- Money has great value in our lives, but time is invaluable.
We need to earn money to live, of course. An additional $10,000 a year could really cause some serious changes in your life. You might be able to clear some debt, buy some things you want, or maybe even move to a different home with that kind of a salary increase. But, as much as the concrete value of the dollar compels us, time might be worth more.
Assuming basic needs are met, more money will give you just that — more money. More time, on the other hand, could lead to all kinds of amazing experiences and shifts that might mean more to you than money ever could. More money is good, but more time is invaluable. Simply being able to spend more time with the people that love you the most is pretty precious.
- Time might be easier to acquire.
When negotiating a job offer, it might help to consider asking for things other than a larger salary — or at least, to keep them in your back pocket if your salary request is denied. Asking for more vacation time, or flexible hours, or the ability to work at home couldn’t hurt. Offering up these alternatives during negotiations just gives your future employer more options to work with, and could put you in a better position to get more of what you want at end of the day.
- Valuing time, as opposed to money, will make you happier.
A recent piece in The New York Times explored a discussion of the value of both time and money. Researchers conducted a survey in order to see what concrete determinations could be made about the matter. The results are fascinating. More than 4,000 people were surveyed about which they’d prefer. They discovered that the people who chose more time were also “statistically happier and more satisfied with life” than the other group who chose money. The results held constant even when adjusted for the amount of money and leisure time the respondents already had. What mattered, in terms of their happiness, was what they valued more.
“Our research isn’t claiming that having more of either resource is better or worse for happiness. Other research examines the relationship between wealth and happiness and suggests, for example, that more income is positively related to happiness up to a certain point ($75,000 in the United States) and that life satisfaction continues to increase with income beyond that point,” wrote the authors. “But our research does show that the value individuals place on these resources relative to each other is predictive of happiness.”
- Your health will benefit.
U.S. workers live with a tremendous amount of stress, and the health consequences down the road are potentially devastating. Gaining more time could easily lead to other changes like getting more sleep, spending more time with friends and family, even just taking the time to get regular exercise and be in nature. As a result, your health could really benefit, both now and in the long run. What’s more valuable than that?