Survey Finds Balanced Workload is Best, But Underworked Employees Are Least Happy

Dec 20, 2004, 00:00 ET from Sirota Consulting

    PURCHASE, N.Y., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- When employees return to work from
 the holiday break, their natural tendency is to put in a full day's work - or
 even work a little extra.
     Contrary to what some believe, people who have too little work are
 actually less satisfied with their jobs than those who are burdened with too
 much work, according to a study by Sirota Consulting, specialists in attitude
 research.
     The most satisfied employees of all in the survey were those who say they
 have just the right amount of work.  They rated their overall satisfaction
 with their jobs at a 73 on a 100-point scale.  Those with the second highest
 satisfaction were those who have "too much work."
     The least satisfied employees were those who say they have "much too
 little work."  They rated their job satisfaction only a 32 on a 100-point
 scale.
     "Ninety-five percent of employees do not want to just 'get by' in their
 jobs," said Jeffrey Saltzman, Chief Executive Officer of Sirota.  "Most people
 want to make a real contribution at work.  So, while most want their work and
 private lives to be balanced, if employers get this out of sync, it's probably
 best that they err on the side of giving more work rather than less."
     The study included over 800,000 employees at 61 organizations worldwide
 who were surveyed between 1998 and 2003.  75% of these have operations in
 North America, 11% have operations in Europe, and 14% have operations in Asia.
     In descending order, employees' overall satisfaction with their jobs as it
 relates to their workload, on a 100-point scale, are:
 
        -- Workload is "about right" - overall job satisfaction rating of 73
        -- "Too much work" - overall job satisfaction rating of 57
        -- "Too little work" - overall job satisfaction rating of 49
        -- "Much too much work" - overall job satisfaction rating of 42
        -- "Much too little work" - overall job satisfaction rating of 32
 
     "When people are overworked, they feel more effective and are often too
 busy to think about elements of their jobs that are less than ideal.
 Conversely, when people feel underworked, they also tend to feel undervalued,
 and their job insecurity increases," Saltzman added.  "We have found that most
 people like what they do.  So, having a little more of what you like is
 preferable to having a little less.
     "Although there is a cost to employers when their employees are
 overworked, there may be an even bigger cost due to boredom from being
 underworked," said Saltzman.  "Companies need to consider employees'
 expectations for having the proper amount of work in order to achieve the best
 productivity, morale, and employee retention."
 
     About Sirota
     Founded in 1972, Sirota Consulting (http://www.sirota.com) specializes in
 attitude research.  Headquartered in Purchase, NY, Sirota has conducted
 thousands of attitude surveys around the world that have helped organizations
 build strong, productive relationships with their employees, customers,
 communities, opinion leaders, investors, suppliers, and other publics.
     Sirota delivers customized, pragmatic, breakthrough employee attitude
 research that improves customer satisfaction and the bottom line.  93% of
 clients return to Sirota for their next survey.
     Sirota has completed research for numerous public agencies.  Sirota's
 private-sector clients include Allegis Group, American Express, Bank of
 America, Banco Popular, BP, eBay, Heidrick & Struggles, Intuit, Lehman
 Brothers, Mayo Clinic, New York Times, Tesoro Petroleum Corporation,
 TIAA-CREF, Tiffany & Co., Toronto Dominion Bank, United Health Group, and
 United Stationers.
 
 

SOURCE Sirota Consulting
    PURCHASE, N.Y., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- When employees return to work from
 the holiday break, their natural tendency is to put in a full day's work - or
 even work a little extra.
     Contrary to what some believe, people who have too little work are
 actually less satisfied with their jobs than those who are burdened with too
 much work, according to a study by Sirota Consulting, specialists in attitude
 research.
     The most satisfied employees of all in the survey were those who say they
 have just the right amount of work.  They rated their overall satisfaction
 with their jobs at a 73 on a 100-point scale.  Those with the second highest
 satisfaction were those who have "too much work."
     The least satisfied employees were those who say they have "much too
 little work."  They rated their job satisfaction only a 32 on a 100-point
 scale.
     "Ninety-five percent of employees do not want to just 'get by' in their
 jobs," said Jeffrey Saltzman, Chief Executive Officer of Sirota.  "Most people
 want to make a real contribution at work.  So, while most want their work and
 private lives to be balanced, if employers get this out of sync, it's probably
 best that they err on the side of giving more work rather than less."
     The study included over 800,000 employees at 61 organizations worldwide
 who were surveyed between 1998 and 2003.  75% of these have operations in
 North America, 11% have operations in Europe, and 14% have operations in Asia.
     In descending order, employees' overall satisfaction with their jobs as it
 relates to their workload, on a 100-point scale, are:
 
        -- Workload is "about right" - overall job satisfaction rating of 73
        -- "Too much work" - overall job satisfaction rating of 57
        -- "Too little work" - overall job satisfaction rating of 49
        -- "Much too much work" - overall job satisfaction rating of 42
        -- "Much too little work" - overall job satisfaction rating of 32
 
     "When people are overworked, they feel more effective and are often too
 busy to think about elements of their jobs that are less than ideal.
 Conversely, when people feel underworked, they also tend to feel undervalued,
 and their job insecurity increases," Saltzman added.  "We have found that most
 people like what they do.  So, having a little more of what you like is
 preferable to having a little less.
     "Although there is a cost to employers when their employees are
 overworked, there may be an even bigger cost due to boredom from being
 underworked," said Saltzman.  "Companies need to consider employees'
 expectations for having the proper amount of work in order to achieve the best
 productivity, morale, and employee retention."
 
     About Sirota
     Founded in 1972, Sirota Consulting (http://www.sirota.com) specializes in
 attitude research.  Headquartered in Purchase, NY, Sirota has conducted
 thousands of attitude surveys around the world that have helped organizations
 build strong, productive relationships with their employees, customers,
 communities, opinion leaders, investors, suppliers, and other publics.
     Sirota delivers customized, pragmatic, breakthrough employee attitude
 research that improves customer satisfaction and the bottom line.  93% of
 clients return to Sirota for their next survey.
     Sirota has completed research for numerous public agencies.  Sirota's
 private-sector clients include Allegis Group, American Express, Bank of
 America, Banco Popular, BP, eBay, Heidrick & Struggles, Intuit, Lehman
 Brothers, Mayo Clinic, New York Times, Tesoro Petroleum Corporation,
 TIAA-CREF, Tiffany & Co., Toronto Dominion Bank, United Health Group, and
 United Stationers.
 
 SOURCE  Sirota Consulting