The Way We Work
March 21, 2013 by Amy Sept

When it comes to our careers, we strive for more than money and recognition. The most common way we define success? Work-life balance.

According to a recent survey by Accenture, work-life balance is the top definition of career success — above money, recognition and autonomy.

Additionally, a majority of people surveyed for Accenture’s Defining Success survey said flexibility in their work schedule is very or extremely important to finding that balance. In fact, more than half of the survey’s 4,100 respondents — across 33 countries — had turned down a job because they were concerned about its impact on their work-life balance.

The survey also found that most people believe that they can have it all — just not at the same time. It’s a sentiment that’s echoed elsewhere: “I had thought I had it all. But the three people I loved most in the world felt differently,” Jaleh Bisharat, VP Marketing at oDesk, wrote on this blog last summer.

Adrian Lajtha, Accenture’s chief leadership officer, explained in a news release that the way we define success is always in flux. “For many, career goals and personal priorities will take precedence at different times. As today’s professionals strive to find the right balance, leading companies will find innovative ways to help them develop, grow and thrive.”

Other key findings:

  • 78 percent agree that technology enables them to be more flexible with their schedules.
  • 70 percent note that this also brings work into their personal lives.
  • 75 percent say that they frequently — or at least occasionally — work during paid time off.

For complete results from Defining Success, you can find the full report here.

What factors have shaped your career — is work-life balance at the top of your list? Tell us about your priorities in the comments section below.

Amy Sept

Managing Editor and Contractor

As the managing editor of the Upwork blog, Amy Sept works with regular and guest writers to share information that helps freelancers and businesses navigate the future of work. A writer and social media pro, she owns Nimbyist Communications and often works remotely with non-profits, tech companies, and small business owners.