A campus-wide survey was recently conducted at UNM to determine university responses to work-life balance issues as varied as childcare, flexible work schedules, and even concerns balancing health and fitness demands with work. Over 400 staff, faculty and students responded to the survey. A majority of the survey respondents were female (82.3%), and most work between 40 and 50 hours a week (80.7%) on average. When asked if they were familiar with the concept of work-life balance, 77% of employees, students or faculty who responded either agreed or strongly agreed, however, most did not know what work-life balance options are available to them at UNM (76.3%).
When asked whether their current job at the University of New Mexico allows them to maintain the quality of life they want, most survey respondents (53.5%) either agreed or strongly agreed. However, 33.6% of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that they have an adequate amount of flexibility to accommodate outside life demands with their current work schedule. Interestingly, 69.8% of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their manager is aware of flexible work practices available for employees, but 35.2% of students, faculty or staff disagreed or strongly disagreed that managers would support them if they requested a flexible work arrangement. 56.9% of respondents agreed that their co-workers would support them in this same endeavor. An obstacle to taking advantage of flexible work arrangements might be that there is no one to fill in for employees who will be out of the office, with 46.9% of employees disagreeing or strongly disagreeing that someone would be able to fulfill their work responsibilities if they were out of the office.
Finally, survey respondents were asked the extent to which they struggled to balance demands of work with various life events or home demands. 44.1% of respondents have some kind of trouble balancing work demands with childcare, 46% of respondents struggle to attend their children's school functions in some way or another, and 48.9% of respondents struggle with childcare issues. 42.8% of survey respondents struggle with elder care demands, 84.5% struggle with maintaining health and fitness, and 85.6% struggle with balancing household responsibilities and work. Overall, 63.2% of survey respondents have struggled to balance parking on campus with work.
Taking advantage of their opportunity to express their work-life balance concerns in an open-ended format, staff employees, students and faculty mentioned a need for flexible work arrangements and other alternative work schedules, a request for increased pay, managerial support for outside life demands and a need for managerial training on these issues, as well as parking issues as their top work-life balance concerns.Data Analysis
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