ALA-APA Workplace Wellness Survey Attracts 2,524 Responses

Library Worklife is delighted to summarize the results of the 2007 Library Workplace Wellness online survey. The ALA-APA survey, available on SurveyMonkey from October 23, 2007 to January 2, 2008, received an overwhelming 2,524 responses. As striking as the number of respondents is the vast range of experiences and attitudes shared in the responses. We received comments from workers in public, academic, school and special libraries; from administration and support staff; from urban system headquarters and from branches in rural Alaska. Wherever the work and whatever the life, work-life balance is on the minds of America’s library employees.

From quantitative data we learned of 2,519 respondents, just over half (52.2%) work in public libraries. Academic library employees make up 38.7%, with workers from special and “other” libraries each composing 3.1%. Bear in mind that the survey did not require response to any question. As a result, the number of respondents who answered any particular question might be less than 2,524, the number of respondents who answered at least one of the survey’s questions.

Respondents were asked to select from a list of work-life initiatives any offered by their employers. Of 2,147 respondents, 88.8% work in environments that offer some sort of work-life balance initiative. Listed below are the options and the percentage of response:

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
Employee Assistance Plans (EAP)
49.80%
1062
Flu shot given at work
47.70%
1018
Work release for continuing education
38.30%
816
Wellness classes (stress relief, time management, diet/nutrition, smoking cessation, CPR, etc.)
31.80%
679
Alternative work schedule
31.50%
671
Health screenings (encouraged to get screenings for diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer,  high blood pressure, etc.)
28.20%
602
Leave allowed for children’s school functions
25.50%
544
Discounts or subsidies for gym membership
25.10%
535
On-site exercise facilities
20.50%
438
On-site exercise classes
15.40%
328
None
11.30%
240
Compressed work week
10.80%
230
Telecommuting
8.90%
190
Childcare on-site or subsidies
6.40%
137
Job sharing
5.20%
111
Other (please specify)
4.80%
103

When asked to what extent, if any, they take advantage of the work-life initiatives listed above, 75.7% of 1,404 respondents said they did participate in at least one such program. The remaining 24.3% chose not to participate in the work-life initiatives offered by their employers. Below are listed the rates of involvement in the following initiatives offered by employers:

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
Flu shot given at work
38.60%
538
Alternative work schedule
30.50%
424
Work release for continuing education
30.00%
417
Wellness classes (stress relief, time management, diet/nutrition, smoking cessation, CPR, etc.)
25.50%
355
Health screenings (encouraged to get screenings for diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer, high blood pressure, etc.)
25.40%
354
Employee Assistance Plans (EAP)
22.50%
313
Leave allowed for children’s school functions
13.90%
194
Discounts or subsidies for gym membership
11.20%
156
On-site exercise facilities
10.30%
144
On-site exercise classes
8.20%
114
Telecommuting
7.40%
103
Compressed work week
5.10%
71
Job sharing
1.90%
26
Childcare on-site or subsidies
1.00%
14

Respondents also had the opportunity to provide qualitative data, sharing their opinions on the importance and feasibility of workplace wellness initiatives. Of particular interest are the responses of employees who choose not to participate. An in-depth analysis of qualitative data from the survey will be published in the February edition of Library Worklife. This summary and the following article will be available on the ALA-APA website on the Salaries page.

ALA-APA thanks survey respondents for contributing to such an important and illuminating study!