Volunteering creates work-life balance, more productive employees, survey finds

Forty-one percent of professionals donate their time outside of work

Posted November 25, 2015

With the holidays approaching, many people may be looking for opportunities to give back. What they may not realize is how their community service also could be helping their careers.

In a Robert Half survey, 41 percent of U.S. professionals said they volunteer outside of work.

Of respondents who volunteer outside of the office, those workers were also asked, "How does volunteering outside of work help you professionally?" Their responses:

  • Enhances my wellness (e.g., greater work-life balance) so I can be more effective at work — 61 percent.
  • Expands my network — 57 percent.
  • Helps me gain new skills — 49 percent.
  • Increases visibility for my company — 35 percent.

The research also revealed demographic differences:

  • More male (45 percent) than female professionals (37 percent) said they volunteer outside of work.
  • Greater numbers of workers ages 18-34 (49 percent) reported donating their time than colleagues ages 35-54 (35 percent).

"Managers may find that encouraging their employees to volunteer is a beneficial retention and recruitment tool,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “Many professionals value the chance to give back to causes that are important to them and their community."

For those who aren't presently volunteering outside of work, Robert Half offers the following four tips for getting started:

  1. Find an organization in need. Search for organizations you care about in your community, and then contact them to see how they could use your help. Be sure to explain your particular skills and interests.
  2. Check with your employer. Many companies have ties to nonprofit organizations or facilitate charitable activities. Other companies offer volunteer matching or grant programs for those employees who give their time.
  3. Invite your colleagues to join you. One person can make a big impact, but there could be power in numbers if your coworkers come, too.
  4. Look beyond the holidays. There are community service opportunities available throughout the year, such as park cleanups and exercising for a good cause.


LivingRight®: Health & Wellness Awareness ProgramJ. J. Keller's LivingRight®: Health & Wellness Awareness Program offers an easy way to help control healthcare costs and promote employee wellness.


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