SHRM Survey Findings: Work/Life Balance Policies

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July 12, 2012

SHRM Survey Findings: Work/Life Balance
Policies


Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012

Definitions

2


Wireless communication devices:
For the purposes of this survey,
wireless communication devices
include cell phones, smart phones (e.g., Blackberry, iPhone, Android), tablets (e.g., iPad,
Archos
,
PlayBook
) and similar communication devices.



Work/life balance policies:
For the purposes of this survey,
work/life balance policies
include
programs that encourage flexible employee work arrangements that emphasize the value of making
work and life responsibilities more manageable for employees.


Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012

Key Findings



3


How prevalent are work/life balance policies?
Twenty
-
four percent of organizations have a formal
work/life balance policy in place, whereas approximately

one
-
half of organizations (52%) have an
informal work/life balance policy.



What elements are included in work/life balance policies?
Working during vacation time was
included in almost one
-
half of
formal

work/life balance policies (47%) and in over three
-
fifths of
informal

policies (62%). Working during sick time was also included in roughly one
-
third of
formal

policies (34%) and one
-
half of
informal

policies (54%).



What are supervisors/management doing to encourage employees to take time away from work to
recharge?
The majority of organizations (80%) indicated that their supervisors/managers encourage
a healthy work/life balance within their unit/work group. Approximately two
-
thirds of
supervisors/managers (67%) encourage employees to ask for help when necessary, and roughly one
-
quarter of supervisors/managers (26%) discourage employees from answering e
-
mails or phone calls
via their wireless communication devices during nonworking hours.





Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012



4

Organizations
with
F
ormal Work/Life
Balance Policies




Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012

Does your organization have a formal (i.e., written) work/life balance policy?

5

Note: n = 327. Respondents who answered “not sure” were excluded from this analysis.

No
Yes
76%

24%


Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012

Please indicate the elements included in your formal work/life policy:

6

Note: n = 79. Only respondents whose organizations have formal work/life policies were asked this question. Percentages do no
t e
qual
100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was developed from open
-
ended respon
ses.

Percentage

Working during vacation

time

47%

Working over a specified number of hours per week in the office or away
from the office for both exempt and nonexempt employees

43%

Working during sick time

34%

Flexible work

arrangements*

10%

Other

9%


Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012



7

Organizations with Informal Work/Life Balance Policies



Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012

Does your organization have an informal (e.g., management practices) work/life
balance policy demonstrating organizational commitment to the importance of
employees taking time away from work to recharge?

8

Note: n = 254. Respondents who answered “not sure” were excluded from this analysis. Only respondents whose organizations
do not have formal work/life policies were asked this question.

No
Yes
48%

52%


Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012

Please indicate the elements included in your informal work/life policy:

9

Note: n = 133. Only respondents whose organizations have informal work/life policies were asked this question. Percentages do

no
t equal
100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was developed from open
-
ended respon
ses.

Percentage

Working during vacation

time

62%

Working during sick time

54%

Working over a specified number of hours per week in the office or away
from the office for both exempt and nonexempt employees

41%

Flexible work

arrangements*

9%

Other

8%


Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012

Which management practices are utilized to encourage employees to take time
away from work to recharge?

10

Note: n = 84. Only respondents whose organizations have informal work/life policies were asked this question. Percentages do
not

equal
100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates that this response option was developed from open
-
ended respon
ses.

Percentage

Supervisors/managers encourage a healthy work/life balance within their
unit/work group.

80%

Supervisors/managers encourage employees to ask for help when
necessary

(e.g., when employee finds that he/she needs to work beyond
specified work hours).

67%

Supervisors/managers discourage employees from answering e
-
mails or
phone calls via their wireless communication

devices during nonworking
hours (e.g., weekends, evenings, holidays).

26%

Supervisors/managers

encourage the use of PTO/vacation and sick leave.*

7%

The organization has days or time when e
-
mail is not used (e.g.,

“E
-
mail
-
Free Fridays”, “No e
-
mail weekends”).

1%

Other

4%


Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012

Demographics: Organization Industry

11

Note: n = 332. Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options.

Percentage

Manufacturing

17%

Finance

and insurance

17%

Health care and social assistance

12%

Professional, scientific and technical services

10%

Other service except public

administration

9%

Educational services

6%

Public

administration

5%

Retail trade

4%

Construction

3%

Information, publishing industries

3%

Religious, grant
-
making, civic

professional and similar organizations

3%

Transportation and warehousing

2%


Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012

Demographics: Organization Industry (continued)

12

Note: n = 332. Percentages do not equal 100% due to multiple response options. An asterisk (*) indicates < 1%.



Percentage

Wholesale trade

2%


Utilities

2%

Accommodation and food

services

2%

Administrative and support

and
waste management and remediation services

2%

Real

estate, rental and leasing

2%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

1%

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

1%

Mining

1%

Repair

and maintenance

1%

Management of companies and enterprises

1%

Personal and laundry services

*


Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012

Demographics: Organization Sector

Other
Government sector
Nonprofit organization
Publicly owned for-profit organization
Privately owned for-profit organization
3%

7%

19%

22%

49%

13

n = 332


Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012

Demographics: Organization Staff Size

25,000 or more employees
2,500 to 24,999 employees
500 to 2,499 employees
100 to 499 employees
1 to 99 employees
5%

22%

16%

31%

26%

14

n = 330


Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012

Demographics: Other

15

Does your organization have U.S.
-
based
operations (business units) only,

or does
it operate
multinationally
?

U.S.
-
based operations only

74%

Multinational

operations

26%

n

= 329

Is your organization a single
-
unit organization

or a
multi
-
unit organization?

Single
-
unit organization: A
n organization
in which the location and the
organization

are one and the same.

33%

Multi
-
unit organization: An

organization
that has more than one location.

67%

n

= 331

For multi
-
unit organizations,

a
re HR policies and
practices determined by the multi
-
unit
headquarters, by each work location or by both?

Multi
-
unit

headquarters determines
HR
policies and practices.

52%

Each work location determines HR
policies

and practices.

3%

A combination of both the

work location
and the multi
-
unit headquarters
determines HR policies and practices.

45%

n

= 230

What is the HR department/function for
which you responded throughout this
survey?

Corporate (compan
ywide)

70%

Business unit/division

14%

Facility/location

16%

n

= 230


Work/Life Balance Policies
©
SHRM 2012


Response rate = 12%


Sample composed of 332 randomly selected HR professionals from
SHRM’s

membership


Margin of error +/
-
5%


Survey fielded June 9


June 27, 2011

16

Methodology

For more poll findings, visit
www.shrm.org/surveys

Follow us on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/SHRM_Research

SHRM Survey Findings:
Work/Life Balance Policies

Project leader:

Robert Boyd, survey research analyst, SHRM Research

Project contributors:

Mark Schmit, Ph.D.,
SPHR
, vice president, SHRM Research

Evren Esen, manager, SHRM Research

Christina Lee, SHRM Research

Copy Editor:

Katya Scanlan, SHRM Knowledge Center