Preliminary Results: Working Family Caregiver Survey

Denise

Preliminary Results: Working Family Caregiver Survey

Denise
paperclip-168336_640A 2012 report released by AARP found that 42% of U.S. workers provided unpaid eldercare for a family member or friend over the last five years. And, 49% expect to do so in the coming five years.

Caring for a family member is a workplace problem.

To better understand your experiences as a working family caregiver, I created a survey last fall for anyone who cares for a family member (regardless of the family member's age) and holds down a full-time job. To date, 57 working family caregivers have completed the survey. I thought you would like to see the survey results so far.

The survey questions and results follow.

Q1. How long have you been caring for a family member or friend?

  • More than 10 years: 15.8 %

  • Between 5 and 9 years: 35.1 %

  • Between 2 and 5 years: 28.1 %

  • Between six months and 2 years: 19.3 %

  • Less than six months: 1.8 %


Q2. How would you describe the size of your company?

  • More than 10,000 employees. 19.3 %

  • Between 5,000 and 10,000 employees. 5.3 %

  • Between 500 and 5,000 employees. 19.3 %

  • Between 50 and 500 employees. 26.3 %

  • 50 or Less Employees. 29.8 %


Q3. How long have you been employed with your current company?

  • More than 20 years: 19.3 %

  • Between 10 and 20 years: 28.1 %

  • Between 5 and 10 years: 17.5 %

  • Between 2 and 5 years: 15.8 %

  • Between 1 and 2 years: 7.0 %

  • Less than 1 year: 12.3 %


Q4. Do you also manage employees?

  • Yes: 31.6 %

  • No: 68.4 %


Q5. Which benefits are available to you?

  • Unpaid leave (like Family Medical Leave Act): 68.4 %

  • Paid leave: 43.9 %

  • Employee Assistance Program: 40.4 %

  • Work/Life benefit: 10.5 %

  • Flexible work schedule: 47.4 %

  • Job sharing: 1.8 %

  • Working from home: 36.8 %

  • I'm not sure: 0.0 %

  • None of the above: 12.3 %

  • Other (please specify): 1.8 %


Q6. Which benefits would you like to be available to you?

  • Unpaid leave (such as Family Medical Leave Act): 16.3 %

  • Paid leave: 46.9 %

  • Employee Assistance Program: 22.4 %

  • Work/Life benefit: 34.7 %

  • Flexible work schedule: 40.8 %

  • Job sharing: 14.3 %

  • Working from home: 46.9 %

  • Other (please specify): 4.1 %


Q7. Do you feel benefits are fairly available to all, regardless of length of time with the company and job title and responsibilities?

  • Yes: 64.9 %

  • No.:33.3 %

  • Other (please specify): 1.8 %


Q8. Has your employer included information about benefits and resources which can help working family caregivers in any company communication, such as an employee newsletter, benefits announcements, wellness or benefits fairs, the company intranet?

  • Yes: 24.6 %

  • No: 49.1 %

  • Not that I know of: 26.3 %


Q9. Within the past year, how much time off from work have you taken because of your caree's appointments, hospitalizations and other caregiving-related situations?


  • More than four weeks: 22.2 %

  • Between three and four weeks: 16.7 %

  • Between two and three weeks: 16.7 %

  • Between one and two weeks: 25.9 %

  • Five days: 7.4 %

  • Four days: 1.9 %

  • Three days: 1.9 %

  • Two days: 5.6 %

  • One day: 1.9 %


Q10. With whom at work have you discussed your caregiving situation? (Select as many answers as appropriate.)

  • My manager: 66.7 %

  • Human Resources: 14.0 %

  • My co-workers: 63.2 %

  • No one. 10.5 %

  • Other (please specify): 14.0 %


Q11. If you answered 'No one" in Question 10, why not?

  • I don't think my manager will understand: 28.6 %

  • I don't think it will help my situation: 57.1 %

  • I think I will be passed over for a promotion: 0.0 %

  • I think my manager will reduce my work responsibilities: 28.6 %

  • I think I will miss out on future opportunities: 14.3 %

  • I think I will lose my job: 28.6 %


Q12. If you spoke with someone at work about your caregiving responsibilities, what was the result? (Select as many answers as appropriate.)

  • I learned about resources my employer offers that can help me: 9.3 %

  • I felt better talking openly about my situation: 50.0 %

  • I now have support from others at work: 40.7 %

  • I connected with other co-workers in a caregiving situation: 24.1 %

  • I have more flexibility with my schedule: 20.4 %

  • It made the situation worse for me: 3.7 %

  • Nothing changed: 18.5 %

  • Other (please specify): 13.0 %


Q13. How much of your paid time off (sick days, vacation time) do you use for caregiving responsibilties and tasks?

  • All of it: 25.0 %

  • Most of it: 37.5 %

  • Some of it: 23.2 %

  • None of it: 5.4 %

  • Other (please specify): 8.9 %


Q14. Which part of your work day is most affected by your caregiving responsibilities?

  • The morning because I'm trying to arrive to work on time: 31.6 %

  • My lunch because I'm trying to run errands and get back to work on time: 7.0 %

  • The end of my day because I'm trying to leave on time so I get home: 28.1 %

  • All of the above: 47.4 %

  • Other (please specify): 10.5 %


Q15. Do you know of any co-workers who also care for a family member or friend?


  • Yes: 45.6 %

  • No: 54.4 %


Q16. What percentage of your work-related stress is because of your caregiving responsibilities?


  • Most of it: 17.9 %

  • Some of it: 82.1 %


Q17. How often does your caregiving responsibility affect your productivity?


  • Daily: 22.8 %

  • Weekly:. 12.3 %

  • Once in awhile: 21.1 %

  • It all depends on how well my caree is doing: 40.4 %

  • Never: 1.8 %

  • Other (please specify): 1.8 %


Q18. How well does your company understand the needs of working family caregivers?

  • The company understands: 21.4 %

  • The company has some understanding: 41.1 %

  • The company has no idea: 32.1 %

  • Other (please specify): 5.4 %


Q19. Do you struggle with the question, Should I quit my job because of my caregiving responsibilities?

  • Yes: 33.3 %

  • Sometimes: 33.3 %

  • No: 26.3 %

  • Other (please specify): 7.0 %


I'll keep our working and caregiving survey open for another month and then share final results (including write-in answers) in a webinar which will take place in early April. (Stay tuned for details.) Thanks so much to those who have already taken the survey--I appreciate the time you gave to complete the survey.

Do you work a full-time job and care for a family member or friend? I'd love to learn more about your experiences; add your voice to our working and caregiving survey.

I'll share more insights about family caregivers on March 5 in Boston at "Our Aging Market: Why Businesses Need to Respond," a special event sponsored by Harvard Business School Association of Boston. If you're in Boston, I'd love for you to join us; register for "Our Aging Market."

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