By Daniel Hunter

According to a new study, more than half of working mums would take a pay cut for a job which offered them an improved work-life balance — proving that even in these difficult economic times, when it comes to work, it’s not all about the money.

The research, also revealed that the main causes of stress associated with working in a traditional office environment are: dealing with family emergencies, such as a child’s illness (54%), having to leave the office early to do the school run (19%) and meetings over-running (17%).

Of the 1,500 working mums who took part in the study, nearly two thirds (64%) have taken positive steps to improve their work-life balance since having children, with part time working and working from home being the preferred solutions.

Pernilla Kemp, head of UK sales for Swedish clothing company me&i which commissioned the study, said: “The fact that more than half of those surveyed would take a pay cut for an improved work-life balance shows how much importance mums place on getting that balance right, and just how many are not quite there yet.

“While we have seen an increase in the number of working mums carving out an alternative career for themselves after children, by setting up their own businesses, going freelance or working for companies which have a more ‘mum-friendly’ business model, there are still many mums whose working situation since having children has changed very little and who feel the idea of work-life balance is just a myth.

"The truth is that working mums are in a better position than they have ever been to achieve the balance they crave. In the current economic climate, businesses are increasingly looking to find ways to cut costs, making them more open to discussions around alternative ways of working.

“If that fails, there are always businesses out there, such as me&i, who are interested in what working mums have to offer and who have created a flexible business model specifically designed to appeal to this highly desirable, and often undervalued, workforce.”

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