It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the weather is turning, and election signs dot our lawns and fill our intersections. That’s right, it’s election time. Each year election day falls on a workday. This can create a predicament for many fulltime employees. We found that most conversation around election time isn’t necessarily around who people are voting for, but when they can actually make it to their ballot office to vote. Fitting in voting during a busy Tuesday workday can be very challenging to many. In fact, it made us wonder: Should the workplace offer flexibility on election day to allow each employee to cast their vote?
We decided to put this question to the test and surveyed over 1,000 employees across the United States about their organisation’s rules around voting during standard office hours (M-F, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
Of those surveyed, only 53% of hourly employees were given flexibility to vote during the day, as compared to 69% of salaried employees. Beyond just providing flexibility, only one in three respondents noted that their company gives their employees time off that is dedicated to voting time.
We also found a positive correlation between employees who are given workplace flexibility to vote and those employees’ engagement and wellbeing levels. In fact, there was an outstanding difference between employees that supported their organisation’s values, recommend their organisation to a friend, and were proud to work for the organisation when they were given time during the workday to vote.
Our survey results showed the following for those who were given time to vote:
72% say their job allows them to balance their work and personal life, as opposed to only 56% of respondents who are not allowed flexibility during the workday to vote
71% say they support the values for which their organisation stands, as opposed to only 55% of respondents who are not allowed flexibility during the workday to vote
65% say they would recommend their organisation to a friend as a good place to work, as opposed to 47% of respondents who are not allowed flexibility during the workday to vote
69% are proud to tell others that they work for their organisation, as opposed to only 51% of respondents who are not allowed flexibility during the workday to vote
69% have a strong desire to be working for their current employer in a year from now, as opposed to only 48% of respondents who are not allowed flexibility during the workday to vote
Overall, allowing your employees to not only vote during work hours, but also remain on the clock, showed to have benefits that last well past election season. Not only will your employees feel more connected to their organisation, they will feel more engaged and have a higher sense of overall wellbeing. Workplace leaders will do well to recognise this opportunity to connect with their teams by allowing and encouraging them to complete their civic duty during work hours. This can be simply allowing them to come in a little later, take a longer lunch, or leave a little earlier so they can vote before picking their kids up from school. Make this year the year to start a flexible schedule on election day and reap the rewards of happier and more engaged employees in the long run.
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