A majority of the American public believes that most people can still find a way to balance the demands of work, family and contributions to community. These are among the key findings of the 21st Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll, which explores what Americans believe is necessary to balance their obligations at work, at home and in their neighborhoods and what they think could help them do better.
Of the topline results in the Heartland Monitor, a narrow majority of Americans (54 percent) believe that “most people can succeed at work, make a good living, and contribute to their family and their community, if they manage their time well and set the right priorities.”
Some groups are especially positive with younger adults demonstrating significant optimism compared to the wider public: About one-third (36 percent) of 18 to 33-year-olds in the poll feel that balancing a successful career with family and civic commitments is unattainable in today’s economy, while 59 percent, said that people can succeed in all three facets of modern life.
Perhaps less surprising, 61 percent of men said work/life balance is attainable, compared to 48 percent of women with similar splits recorded among fathers and mothers.
In line with previous Heartland Monitor polls, respondents to the survey also expressed belief in personal or individual responsibility when it comes to making life better. Sixty percent said that “more Americans taking responsibility to work hard, improve their skills and education and provide for their families” would make life a lot better. With regard to civic and community activity, two-thirds of survey participants called for greater contributions of time and money to charity and community groups. Specifically, 36 percent said that volunteering and donation to non-profits from other citizens would make life a lot better, and a further 33 percent said such actions would make life somewhat better.
“As we have seen throughout the past six years, Americans continue to display a resilient determination in this latest survey of their attitudes and experiences,” said Atlantic Media Editorial Director Ronald Brownstein. “But it’s also clear that amid living standards that have remained essentially stagnant since 2000, many Americans are finding it an impossible puzzle to both provide for their family and participate in family life the way they’d like to.”
“The poll results present an opportunity to understand what’s at the heart of Americans living a ‘good life’ and the challenges they face in achieving it,” said Stacy Sharpe, senior vice president of corporate relations, Allstate. “Americans believe in themselves and their ability to achieve a work-life balance. Family, health, giving back to the community, and earning enough to pay for education and retirement, are all incredibly important to Americans.