StrategyOne Public Opinion Survey: Amid Economic Woes, Americans Still Seriously Concerned About Work/Life Balance

Majority of Americans say work/life balance is a 'significant problem,' and families suffer the consequences

NEW YORK, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Often overlooked amid talk about job figures and financial data, the issue of disrupted work/life balance is another way that the economic downturn has taken a toll on the American public, with families bearing the brunt of the suffering from this problem.

With the economy experiencing its worst struggles since the Great Depression, it may be tempting to think that those with jobs "should be happy and not complain." Yet a vast majority of Americans (89%) see work/life balance issues as a problem, including 54% who say it is a "significant problem."

Moreover, the "Great Recession" has made the situation worse for close to 4 in 10 workers: 38%, say their work/life balance has become worse since the recession started, while only 10% say that it has improved.

These are just some of the statistics generated by a recent survey of 1,043 Americans conducted by polling firm StrategyOne, including 613 who work either full-or part-time.

"Far from having disappeared from public consciousness, the issue of work life balance remains a concern to American workers – even despite – and perhaps because of – the severe economic downturn," said Bradley Honan, Vice President of StrategyOne, who authored the study.

Polling data among full- and part-time workers shows that this issue has an impact on fully one-third of the workforce, with middle-aged men (ages 34–54) most likely to say they do not have an adequate work/life balance (44%).

Obviously, this is an issue with consequences beyond the workplace. When Americans' work/life balance is disrupted, families bear the brunt. A plurality (37%) say that time with family is the first thing that suffers when the work/life balance is out of whack, while 22% say that personal time is most affected.

Further, there appears to be more that companies can do to address this issue. Nearly half of American workers (43%) said their company is not doing enough to address work/life balance issues.

"Far from just being happy they have a job, significant numbers of American workers are asking companies to step up to the plate and address this issue more effectively.  Workers are being asked to do 'more with less' and the strain on them is clearly showing," Honan said.

Survey Methodology:

StrategyOne conducted 1,043 online interviews among a representative sampling of Americans between August 20 and 23, 2010.  The overall margin of sampling error at the 95% level of confidence is = +/- 3.03% overall and larger for subgroups. Statistical weights were designed from the United States Census Bureau statistics. 

About StrategyOne:

With offices in Atlanta, Chicago, London, New York, Paris, San Mateo, and Washington, D.C., StrategyOne, a Daniel J. Edelman company, employs custom public opinion research and secondary research methodologies to deliver strategic counsel to corporate, organizational and governmental clients globally. Visit www.strategyone.net for more information.

Full Question Texts & Survey Data:

Question text:  In your opinion, how much of a problem are work/life balance issues in America today?


Answer

August 2010

TOTAL PROBLEM

89%

   Significant problem

54%

   Minor problem

35%

TOTAL NOT A PROBLEM

11%

   Not really a problem

9%

   Not a problem at all

2%



Question text:  Do you believe that you have an adequate work/life balance?*


Answer

August 2010

Yes

69%

No

31%

* Asked of those who are employed (either full time or part time)



Question text:  Has the economic downturn made your work/life balance...*


Answer

August 2010

Better

10%

Worse

38%

No change

51%

* Asked of those who are employed (either full time or part time)



Question text: What is the first thing that suffers when your work/life balance become out of whack?*


Answer

August 2010

Time with family

37%

Personal time such as reading a book or relaxing

22%

Household chores and errands

14%

Exercise

10%

Eating healthy

9%

Time with friends

8%

* Asked of those who said they do not have an adequate work/ life balance



Question text:  Do you believe that your company is doing enough to address work/life balance issues?*


Answer

August 2010

Yes

57%

No

43%

* Asked of those who are employed (either full time or part time)



SOURCE StrategyOne



RELATED LINKS
http://www.strategyone.net

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