Summer Forecast: Work/life Balance is Valued, But Most Professionals Will Likely Continue Working on Vacation, Accenture Survey Finds
Generation Y, those without dependents less likely to work during time off
NEW YORK; June 11, 2009 – While nearly eight in 10 professionals say they want balance in their work and personal lives, more than half work while on vacation, according to findings of an Accenture survey (NYSE: ACN).
The survey of 200 professionals from medium to large organizations in the United States found that 79 percent of respondents said it is important to maintain a balance between their work and personal lives, yet 53 percent acknowledge that they work on vacation.
Younger people and those without dependents are the least likely to work on vacation. Just 38 percent of Generation Y respondents (those born after 1979) reported that they work on vacation compared with 71 percent of Baby Boomers (those born before 1964) and 49 percent of Generation X respondents (those born between 1965 and 1978). Additionally, less than half (44 percent) of respondents without dependents said they work on vacation, versus almost two-thirds (61 percent) of those with dependents.
“The summer season will increase the focus on work/life balance,” said LaMae Allen deJongh, Accenture’s U.S. Human Capital & Diversity managing director. “Organizations that are committed to developing and advancing their people will openly discuss these issues and create programs – such as flexible work arrangements – that help them achieve a satisfactory balance between their work and personal pursuits.”
The survey also found that men and women differ in the way they work on vacation. For example, 94 percent of men who said they work on vacation, said they read and respond to e-mail, compared with 83 percent of women. Additionally, of those who said they work while on vacation, men were more likely than women to say they answer phone calls from their supervisors or colleagues (77 percent of men vs. 65 percent of women), and participate in work-related conference calls (52 percent vs. 44 percent) while they’re on vacation.
Among the survey’s other work/life balance findings:
- When asked to identify their key priorities, respondents ranked work/life balance second, cited by 64 percent of all respondents, after salary/income (79 percent).
- More than four in 10 respondents (44 percent) said they sacrifice work/life balance in order to advance their careers.
- Surprisingly, men were more likely than women to say that it’s important for them to be available when their families and children need them (68 percent of men vs. 46 percent of women) and to have flexibility in their work schedule (49 percent vs. 39 percent).
- Men were also more likely than women to say they take advantage of the opportunity to work from home when offered (91 percent of men vs. 75 percent of women).
About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With approximately 180,000 people serving clients in over 120 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$23.39 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2008. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
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