Workplace Wellness Survey

The fourth installment of Library Worklife’s analysis of the 2009-2010 Library Workplace Wellness online survey begins analysis of qualitative feedback comments left by users as part of the questionnaire-based survey.

Previous analysis of the survey (Library Worklife, Vol. 7, no. 6) suggests that employees of special libraries utilize more workplace wellness programs than their counterparts at other libraries. Another article (Library Worklife, Vol. 7, no. 7) interpreted the data in terms of supply and demand, exploring which workplace wellness initiatives are most commonly offered by library employers and which initatives are the most popular among library employees. This analysis suggests that public and academic libraries are most successful at matching supply and demand in wellness initiatives.

To gather qualitative data about respondents’ attitudes toward, and experience with, workplace wellness initiatives, the survey posed several questions. This article will examine the results of the first:  Which of these workplace wellness activities does your library offer?

Which of these workplace wellness activities does your library offer?

The first question collecting qualitative data asked respondents to select from a list of work-life initiatives any offered by their employers; the respondents were also given the opportunity to discuss any initiatives not provided by the list. Of the question’s 568 respondents, 57 (10 percent) submitted qualitative data. Several categories emerged from the data; listed below are the most common categories, the number of responses and the percentage of response.


# of Responses

% of Responses

Government/Campus Resources



Wellness Classes



Flexible Hours/Split Shifts



Personal/Family Leave



The category Government/Campus Resources indicates comments of wellness initiatives that are offered by administrative bodies outside the library (county or city government, or the larger academic institution in the case of academic libraries). The following quotations are typical of responses in the following categories.

Government or Campus Resources

  • Cooperation between personnel across departments when there are huge projects, hiring freezes and disasters. University offers discounted gym memberships, exercise classes, wellness classes, health screenings (3 flights of stairs on site).
  • The Library does not offer these activities but the College does offer them.
  • The library doesn’t offer these things, but our parent organization offers discounts for gym membership, flu shots, child care on-site, EAP, onsite exercise classes and facilities, health screenings.
  • Facilities and wellness programs are on-campus, but not in the library proper.
  • Free offsite swimming and limited gym facilities (local government-owned facilities)
  • These services are made available by the larger organization that houses the library; alone, the office that houses the library would probably be unable to offer these services.
  • Some of these things are offered by the town to town employees (walking program, flu shot, brown bag lunch programs, etc.), but are not offered specifically by the library for library employees. They tried to offer yoga recently, but there was not enough interest apparently.

Wellness Classes

  • Stress management classes.
  • Various health promotions involving walking, losing weight, etc.
  • Some wellness classes are offered on the staff’s own time by the Staff Association.
  • Off Site Wellness Center – can join but pricey.
  • CPR and time management are sometimes available.

Flexible Hours/Split Shifts

  • Flex time and comp time allow us to customize our schedules when we need to and generous vacation and sick leave.
  • Compressed work weeks are only allowed during the summer quarter.
  • Alternative work weeks are allowed but discouraged.
  • The region I belong to allows certain individuals’ work hours to be changed but not everyone’s, and the work hours for the IT department I belong to is not very conducive to a well maintain computer maintenance schedule. (i.e.: should be able to work weekends or other normal downtime for Library to do maintenance more efficiently).

Personal/Family Leave

  • Work schedules are modified to meet personal needs (for example to accommodate parents with their children’s schedule or student-employees school schedule).
  • We have vacation and personal time that can be used to attend children’s or grandchildren’s programs. Our schedule can be flexible depending upon the circumstances.

We are excited to explore the results of this important survey. Future issues of Library Worklife will continue the analysis of qualitative data, discussing responses to the survey’s open-ended questions. These questions include: “If your library does not offer any of these activities, why do you think this is the case?” and “Do you take advantage of any of these activities?”