Online Survey: (VERY) Preliminary Results

Some initial results are in. It appears that interactive agency managers are on an inevitable collision course. On the one hand, workers are working outside work hours regularly. On the other hand, they consider their home lives very important. I offer two data points in support of this contention.

First, an enormous share of respondents report working after hours regularly. Almost half do it more than once a week.

In sharp contrast to this, the vast majority of respondents say that the division between home and work is important, with more than half saying it’s “very important”:

There is a deep disconnect here. It’s only a matter of time before one of these competing demands wins out. Considering the relative youth of these workers, managers may have a few years before it becomes a pressing problem.

But demographics tells us that every industry is in trouble for labour in the next few years. What are interactive agencies going to do about this disconnect? They will likely no longer have the luxury of just hiring another new grad to fill the shoes of a senior worker who shuffles off to client side in hopes of spending time with family.

Now the requisite research caveats: these results are fresh off the press with very little on my part. Also, not all of the data here represent interactive agency workers, but most of them do. I will strip out the non-interactive agency workers, and also do some cross tabulations to find potential patterns by job category, years of experience, or age.

The full results will likely take a bit longer. Stay tuned.


4 responses to “Online Survey: (VERY) Preliminary Results

  1. Hey Sam this is cool. I have been doing some light research on millennials lately and that made me think of one thing (not that I’m a millennial). Just because I am the office 12 hours a day sometimes doesn’t mean that I don’t have a good work/life balance. I mean it’s not like I am a line worker, I do a lot of personal stuff at the office 🙂 I think that for many office workers the line between work and life is blurring.

  2. Hi Sam,

    (this is phil)

    Interesting stuffs, my year as a public servant (cubical jockey) makes this resonate a bit with me.

    Though, as Bryce rightly points out, there is a vast difference in what people actually *do* at work.

    It would be interesting to try and track what percentage of time (at the office) individuals dedicate to their ‘family’ life. Booking doctors appointments for kids, checking out which activities to book for a weekend, or even just thinking out what gift to give a significant other.

    Anyways, interesting stuff. The public service also likely falls in a similar situation… so I am interested to see your later findings.

  3. I’m noticing the time spent at work on personal issues which was formerly a perk, has transitioned into work time at work with the same hours expected.

    Where we worked long hours in the past and were partially compensated with freedom, we now work the same hours dedicated to work.

  4. Hi Sam… Although I’m not an agency guy these days, this is really interesting to me (and increasingly relevant to non-agency life, I’m finding). When I was an agency newbie, doing work from home was almost fun – reminded me of when I was an independent, something I really enjoyed. Now, almost ten years later that fun became a nightmare – but the expectation grew until I went client-side. That stepped it back a fair bit; the way I spend time now is more balanced. But it continues to grow – more so out of pure necessity than my employer’s expectations. I find it very odd. I retain a certain flexibility to address personal stuff at work, but the requirement for addressing work stuff at home seems to be growing faster by comparison. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll eventually have a meltdown and decide that sorting plastics in a recycling plant is more personally rewarding…. frightening thought.

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