Missouri State University

Key Findings from the Survey

This section presents the key findings from the executive summary of the survey report.  Details about the methodology and a larger explanation and discussion of the results of this study can be found in Appendix A

Employees' Perceptions of Work Life-Personal Life Interference

Employees report an average degree of work interfering with their personal life, but this perception differed greatly by job category, care-giving responsibilities, and gender. 

  • Faculty, Executive/Administrators/Managers, and Support Professionals report higher levels of work interfering with their personal lives compared to employees in other job categories.   
  • Employees with children and employees with adult-care responsibilities perceive higher levels of work interfering with their personal lives compared to those without care-giving responsibilities. 
  • Men report slightly higher levels of work interfering with their personal life than do women.

Overall, employees do not perceive that their personal life interferes with work life.  This perception differed slightly based on care-giving responsibilities and gender.

  • Employees with children at home reported higher levels of their personal life interfering with their work compared to employees without children at home.
  • Men reported higher levels of their personal life interfering with their work compared to women.  

Helpful Work-Life Benefits and Services

We presented three categories of benefits and services that may help employees balance their work and personal lives.  The categories were (1) work and scheduling, (2) home and family, and (3) financial and legal. We asked employees to rate how important each benefit and service was for the University community. If they rated the benefit or service as important, we asked them if they would use the benefit and service.

Three highest rated benefit or service as important to the University community

  • Work and scheduling
    • Staff reported (1) variable starting and ending hours, (2) option to donate paid sick or vacation days to others, and (3) short-term disability coverage.
    • Faculty reported (1) sabbatical leave, (2) short-term disability coverage, and (3) tenure-clock extension.
  • Home and family
    • Both staff and faculty reported (1) drop-in childcare on campus, (2) paid parental leave, and (3) Leave in excess of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
  • Financial and legal
    (Only two options were given to respondents. The highest rated option is shown.)
    • Both staff and faculty reported expanded options for credit course fee waiver.

Top three benefits or services rated as most likely used by staff and faculty

  • Work and scheduling
    • Staff reported (1) variable starting and ending hours, (2) option to donate paid sick or vacation days to others, and (3) compressed work week.
    • Faculty reported (1) sabbatical leave, (2) phase-in to retirement, and (3) a three-way tie among short-term disability coverage, variable starting/ending hours and paid educational/professional development leave.
  • Home and family
    • Staff reported (1) after hours or weekends on-campus medical clinic for employees and families, (2) leave in excess of the Family and Medical Leave Act, and (3) eldercare/adultcare information resource and referral.
    • Faculty reported (1) after hours or weekends on-campus medical clinic for employees and families, (2) leave in excess of the Family and Medical Leave Act, and (3) paid parental leave.
  • Financial and legal
    (Only two options were given to respondents. The highest rated option is shown.)
    • Both staff and faculty reported expanded options for credit course fee waiver.

Some of the survey findings were puzzling because it was unclear why employees thought some benefits or services would help them balance their work and personal life. For example, how would expanded options for credit course fee waiver help someone find balance between their work and family life?  In addition, written comments provided by survey respondents revealed complex issues that were not addressed in the survey items, such as a campus culture that is not amenable to work-life balance and work overload that contributes to the stress employees feel at work and at home.  In order to better understand the issues employees face in trying to balance their work and personal lives, we asked Dr. Charlene Berquist to conduct focus group interviews with employees across campus.