From Robert Half
Four in 10 Professionals Volunteer Time Outside of Work
MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 12, 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, more than four in 10 (41 percent) U.S. professionals said they volunteer outside of work. Respondents said their philanthropic activities help them improve their sense of well-being and effectiveness at the office (61 percent), expand their network (57 percent), develop new skills (49 percent), and enhance their company’s visibility (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). (The value the youngest workforce group places on philanthropy echoes findings from Robert Half’s Get Ready for Generation Z report, which showed these employees will accept lower pay to work for a cause they care about.)
Workers were asked, “Do you volunteer outside of work?” Their responses:
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
Expands my network
Helps me gain new skills
Increases visibility for my company
*Multiple responses permitted
“Volunteering can help employees at any level build their careers,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “Not only does it provide the gratification of giving back to the community, but it could open doors to a new professional opportunity or business connection.”
View an infographic of the survey findings, including breakdowns by gender and age.
McDonald added, “Managers may find that encouraging their employees to volunteer is a beneficial retention and recruitment tool. 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:
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– Look beyond the holidays. There are community service opportunities available throughout the year, such as park cleanups and exercising for a good cause.
About the Survey
The survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on responses from more than 1,000 workers ages 18 and over employed at U.S. companies.