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Research Data

Research surveys relating to work/life balance are increasing in frequency and they clearly support the benefits to both employers and employees of such programmes. The 2002 Xylo Report, a national survey on work/life issues in the USA, is conducted six times yearly and used by Fortune 500 and other leading companies to consider retention issues and retain employees. The January 2002 survey received responses from 1,003 adults over the age of 18. The data revealed that:

  • 94% felt that time away from work made them better employees
  • 70% reported that time away from work made them feel a lot more productive - an increase from 65% in 2001
  • Single people were more likely than married people to say that time off makes them a lot more productive (78% vs. 66%)
  • 79% of respondents under 35 years of age reported that vacation time made them a lot more productive, compared to less than 67% of respondents between ages 35 to 54
  • Single people were 18% more likely to report that time off makes them a lot more productive (78% vs. 60% for married people)
  • 72% of women respondents reported that vacations made them a lot more productive, an 11% increase from 2001.

The 2001 survey of USA Work/Life Programme Managers by the Alliance of Work/Life Professionals and Work/Life Today revealed that Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) and flexible schedules were the most provided benefits with EAPs and childcare referrals the most used. The survey reported a rise in the use of work-life benefits with 56% of employees taking advantage of work/life benefits when offered (an increase of 9% since 1999). 45% of respondents reported an increase in financial resources applied to work/life programmes and only 8% reported a decrease in resources. Key points from this research:

Most popular programmes offered

Benefits were stated as:

  • EAP Services offered by 84% of organisations in 2001, up from 77% in 1999
  • flexible working schedules 83% up from 77%
  • tuition assistance 71% up from 70%
  • telecommuting 64% down from 70%
  • child care referrals 75% down from 83%
  • elder care referrals 74% down from 76%
  • attracting and retaining employees 70%
  • increasing employee effectiveness 56
  • improving organisational effectiveness and reputation 48%
  • improving business results 44%.

In the UK in 2003, The Work foundation, a non-profit organisation committed to excellence in the managing of people, carried out a survey on Work/Life Balance across over 5,000 HR specialists. Respondents indicated that Work/Life Balance policies are more likely to be found in the service and IT industries, and least likely in manufacturing. Key points from this research:

Most popular programmes offered

Benefits were stated as:

  • provision of part-time working (90%)
  • family/emergency leave (85%)
  • general unpaid leave (78%)
  • improved employee commitment/motivation (46%)
  • higher retention rates (40%)
  • improved employee relations (37%)


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