IFF Research: UK faces challenge to embed volunteering culture at work

The UK faces a challenge to embed volunteering in workplace cultures, as research from IFF Research found that just 7% of employees have done voluntary work on paid work time at their current employer.

The research, part of IFF Research’s Attitudes to Work study, found that 38% of respondents said that their employer actively encourages staff, or gives them the opportunity, to volunteer during work hours.

However, 13% said that their employer forbids volunteering on work time.

Jan Shury, joint managing director at IFF Research, said: “A volunteering mindset exists among a significant minority across the UK; 27% of workers we interviewed say that they have already done voluntary work while in their current job.

“But only 27% of these have done so during paid work time. All this equates to just one in 14 people (7%) having volunteered on paid time while with their current employer.

“Volunteering can take a lot of commitment and lack of time will be a reason why many people do not volunteer more, despite the best of intentions.

“With many employers looking for ways to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility credentials, motivate their employees and develop a well-rounded workforce, allowing staff leeway to volunteer on company time could be an easy win for them, as well as helping to develop the volunteering culture the government so wants to see.

“However, our findings show that employees are split between whether they think their bosses will allow them to volunteer on paid time or not.

“There still appears to be much to do if a volunteering culture is to become embedded as part of our working lives and if our workforce is to make a real contribution to the success of the Big Society project.”

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