Minnesotans Are Optimistic Outliers When It Comes to Work/Life Balance

University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business survey finds
Minnesotans’ beliefs at odds with current coverage of overwhelmed

MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Work/life balance: Is it attainable or merely a utopian dream in
America’s 24/7 work culture? A group of Minnesotans was asked to weigh
in on that debatable issue recently – with unexpected results from the
most frazzled, sleep-deprived and overwhelmed cohort of respondents.

Based on the punishing workplace conditions described in two recent,
widely circulated articles in The New York Times – A
Toxic Work World
and amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html&esheet=51216002&newsitemid=20151103006487&lan=en-US&anchor=Inside+Amazon%3A+Wrestling+Big+Ideas+in+a+Bruising+Workplace&index=2&md5=0d4d11e0a621dc76293bfa00c49d3785″ rel=”nofollow”>Inside
Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace – you might
guess at the respondents’ verdicts. But you’d probably be surprised.

In fact, respondents were surprisingly optimistic when it came to their
views on being able to manage work and home responsibilities –
particularly those most likely to be running on fumes: working parents.
The Opus College of Business survey, which examined how Minnesotans feel
about a variety of important workforce issues, found that a majority of
respondents with children at home agreed it is possible to achieve
work/life balance in their current job (80%) compared to total
respondents (66%) and those without children (61%).

Younger respondents with higher incomes, more education and children at
home all tended to agree that it is possible to achieve a work/life
balance in their current job, including 75 percent of Millennials and 73
percent of Gen Xers.

The survey showed a positive correlation between respondents’ education
levels and their optimism about achieving work/life balance. Of the
college graduates polled, 73 percent agreed work/life balance is
possible in their current job compared to 60 percent of respondents who
completed high school or less, and 58 percent who did not complete

While striving for good quality of life outside of work can come at a
career cost, 62 percent of Millennials and 59 percent of Gen Xers
reported that they were able to balance their home and work life without
hindering their career progression. Just over half (55%) of total
respondents said they had been able to achieve balance without affecting
their career trajectory.

Forward-thinking organizations recognize that human capital is their
greatest competitive advantage and they design their policies
accordingly, said Teresa Rothausen Vange, Ph.D., professor of management
and Susan E. Heckler Endowed Chair in Business Management at the
University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.

“Across the board, we find that employees consider two elements of
work/life balance most vital: the ability to care for family members who
are vulnerable, ill, disabled or aging and some flexibility in how, when
and where they will perform their work,” Rothausen Vange said. “A vast
number of studies tell us that companies who support employees in these
ways reap benefits that include higher rates of engagement and
retention, and reduced stress and burnout.”

Dr. Rothausen Vange added that companies with a reputation for
supporting employees’ healthy lifestyles often see a marked increase in
applications for open positions, allowing them to be more selective in
their hiring. “People are motivated to support an organization that
supports them,” she said.

Indeed, the majority of those polled said that a balanced work and home
life would play into future job decisions: 91 percent of college
graduates and 87 percent of those who had completed some graduate work
answered that work/life balance would impact their evaluation of a job
offer – significantly more than those who completed high school or less

Minnesota and the Twin Cities consistently rank near the top of national
polls measuring quality of life, and work/life balance frequently
figures into that equation. Many of the state’s largest employers have
been recognized for cultivating a healthy work/life balance.

More than 1,000 adults ages 18 or older completed the Opus College of
Business survey by ORC in August 2015. The College conducted the survey
as part of its ongoing Find Your Answer campaign. Intended to encourage
thought-provoking discussions and debates, the campaign reflects the
school’s examined and thoughtful approach to business leadership,
business ethics, workplace diversity, entrepreneurship and human
potential. Students, business leaders and others are invited to join the
conversation and share their views at www.stthomas.edu/business/find-your-answer/.

About Opus College of Business
is more than just an ideal at the Opus College of Business. It’s a call
to action. Transformative learning, transformative teaching,
transformative leadership and a transformative experience are all
hallmarks of this “Top 100” business school. Through its range of
graduate, undergraduate and continuing education business programs, the
Opus College of Business seeks to transform its students’ lives and
careers while transforming the landscape of the business community.
Learn more about degree offerings at www.stthomas.edu/business/.


For Opus College of Business
Shelley Lange, 612-455-1740
Guyott, 651-962-4189