Volunteering is a bedrock principle of both healthy individuals and prosperous societies. The University of Exeter did a meta-analysis of 40 studies on volunteering over a 20-year period in 2013. Mortality rates were 22% less with volunteers versus non-volunteers. The study also concluded that volunteers had better mental health and overall life satisfaction than non-volunteers. But the volunteer work must be truly volunteer, not forced, to reap the benefits.
Employers recognize the positive effects volunteering has on both their workforces and company profiles. A 2010 United Healthcare study found that 25% of volunteers do so through employer programs. But based on government data, employer-sponsored programs are much more prevalent in smaller cities. The Corporation for National and Community Service ranked Minneapolis, Rochester, New York; Salt Lake City, Milwaukee and Portland as the top five cities for volunteering in 2018. The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area ranked 18th. The rest of the Bay Area (San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward) ranked 36th.
Eco Office hopes to boost those Bay Area numbers in 2020. We are planning to volunteer time with local charities, particularly in the summertime during peak times of need. Granted our warehouse team and project managers have full schedules due to our high volume of Bay Area clients. But volunteering is good for morale and good for the community. Here are three reasons for your company should also make time for volunteering in 2020.
The top 10 companies on Fortune magazine's 50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back in 2016 all have one thing in common. They give employees paid time off for volunteer work. Incentivized volunteer work motivates people to do it and improves attitudes towards employers.
The aforementioned United Healthcare survey found that volunteers who did so through company programs were more loyalty towards to their employers. Those workers also believed that more people would participate in volunteer programs if they were promoted more. This is particularly true during the holiday season.
Workers share positive experiences with workplace volunteer programs on social media and in general social circles. These anecdotes make your company look good to stakeholders and potential new talent.
A 2017 Gallup survey found that 21% of Millennial workers changed jobs within the past year. That's compared to 5% of Baby Boomers and 6% of Gen X workers who did the same. The best way to retain younger workers is to give them a sense of purpose.
The 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that workers age 35 and younger who stayed at their jobs for five years or more reported 88% satisfaction with their sense of purpose. There are nearly two million nonprofit organizations in the United States. Incentivized volunteer opportunities allow workers to support specific causes that are near and dear to them.
Monotony in the workplaces leads to complacency and ultimately disengagement. Volunteering mitigates both of these issues.
California, by far, has the highest homeless population in the country. San Jose and Santa Clara County were ranked fifth by U.S. News and World Report for homeless populations in major metropolitan areas. That fact alone provides plenty of opportunities for volunteering and bolstering your company's profile in the Bay Area.
Churches and shelters are always looking for volunteers. Organizations like HandsOn Bay Area connect local companies with nonprofits and create customized volunteer events. They match your company with youth development organizations, environmental initiatives and other projects that directly affect the community and are in line with your company culture.
Make sure to start the new year off right with office additions like standing desks or transitioning completely to open office furniture. Give us a call at 408-437-1700 to speak to one of our expert project managers.