Giving back is good for others and good for you
Should workplaces be doing more to help their employees give back to causes that matter to them?
Giving back is good. Good for others. Good for the community. Potentially, good for the whole world. Also, as a side effect, good for those doing the good deed too.
Yet, a new study by Perkbox of 1,342 people found that a huge 63% of employed people in the UK do not receive any days off from their work to volunteer.
On top of work schedules, prior commitments and finding a work/life balance, some may feel it can be hard to find time to volunteer in their personal life too, despite how important this is.
But Brits do want to give back
Just 11% state that there aren’t any causes at all that they would like to give back to - showing that if more companies offered days to volunteer, they would be used and could ultimately make a huge difference in the country.
42% of people state that they would most like to give back to healthcare charities through a variety of methods, including raising sponsorship money from marathons, 33% would like to give back to their local community, and 31% would choose environmental charities.
The solution? Workplaces may need to rethink their CSR policies
Companies, who have a commitment to give back to their communities, but also have manpower who want to help, could be combining these more. This would give employees days off from work to volunteer to a cause, not only allowing for the business to give back but also allowing employees to give back to the matters that are close to their hearts, too.
CSR days have been traditionally rooted in company policies, but with two thirds of employees not receiving any volunteering days in 2019, it looks like they might be falling to the backburner.
Looking into different industries, this figure rises to a staggeringly high amount. A huge 75% of those working in Healthcare, Architecture, Engineering and Building industries do not receive any volunteering days from their employers. At the same time, a shockingly low 16% of all workers receive only one day off to volunteer, and just 12% receive more than one.
When it comes to the industries that do allow volunteering days, Professional Services and Arts & Culture are most likely to allow employees several days off to contribute to charities. Almost a quarter (24%) in these industries get more than one day off a year for volunteering. On the other hand, those who work in Healthcare (8%), Retail, Catering and Leisure (7%), and Sales, Media and Marketing (4%) are the least likely to be given more than one day off to volunteer.
The Retail, Catering and Leisure industries have been found to be most restrictive to employees overall, with a meagre 7% of those who work in these industries receiving just one day off to volunteer in 2019.
London employers are the most charitable
When comparing charitable companies across the UK, the capital came out on top. London allows for the most volunteering days, with 41% of London workers receiving either one or more CSR days annually. This was followed by the North East, with 35% receiving the same amount.
On the other hand, those in Scotland are least likely to be given any days off to volunteer, with 75% of Scots stating that they do not receive any CSR days at all from their work.
Companies with strong CSR policies could actually get more applicants
When it comes to those entering the job market, Perkbox partnered with TalentPool to find what CSR practices graduate job hunters would like to see their next employer involved in.
The results reveal that ‘addressing climate change’ (33%) and ‘helping the local community’ (30%) are most important to them, followed by ‘fundraising for charitable causes around the world’ (24%) and ‘driving healthcare initiatives’ (13%).
This highlights that CSR policies in the workplace could, in fact, make a big difference for current employees, but for potential ones too.
It’s not just good for those outside the business, it’s good for the people inside them too
Evidence shows that helping others can have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing. It can reduce stress, as well as improve mood, self-esteem and happiness - a well-deserved bonus.
The mental health benefits of giving back include:
- Helping others feels good - When helping others, it promotes positive changes in the brain associated with happiness. According to research, acts of kindness can help boost mood as they help to encourage the body to create dopamine.
- Giving back might lower stress levels - Stress can affect health, whilst giving back may help to reduce stress levels, according to research by Stephen G. Post, Professor of preventive medicine.
- Brings a sense of belonging - Getting involved with the local community and with others, helps us to feel connected to those around us. Working towards a goal gives a sense of community and belonging to a wider team.
- Helps to keep things in perspective - It can often be easy to feel bogged down by something that can seem like a big deal in our lives, whereas helping with problems on a larger scale can bring this back into perspective.
- Meeting others and bonding socially can reduce feelings of loneliness - Connecting with other people helps to reduce the feeling of loneliness. Volunteering brings the opportunity to meet and connect with others outside of everyday life and can bring conversation and potentially new friends.