Benefits. The most common benefits include health insurance; dental, vision, or supplemental health insurance; life insurance; and
employer-provided 401k match contributions (see Table III). Other benefits that were reported but not listed in the questionnaire
include stock awards, car and gas allowance, and health-club memberships.
Table III: Percentage of respondents receiving the following employer-provided benefits.
On average, employees are granted 10 paid public holidays and 17 paid vacation days, though most took only 14 of these days
for vacation and admitted to doing some work (e.g., checking e-mail, returning calls) for at least 5 of these days (one more day than last year).
Attitudes toward current employment
Survey participants indicated how strongly they agreed or disagreed with the following statements:
- I believe my work is fully valued by my employer.
- I believe my present job is secure.
- In my present job, I use my skills and training to the fullest extent.
- Given the opportunity, I would leave my present job.
Most respondents continue to feel secure in their jobs, agree that their employer values their work, and believe that they
use their skills to the fullest extent in their present jobs (see Table IV). Nonetheless, 53% of workers either agreed or
strongly agreed that they would leave their present job if given the opportunity. These responses all agree very closely with
Table IV: Opinions toward current employment.
As in previous years, income, geographic location, and the opportunity for professional advancement were the three most important
factors that would be taken into consideration for making this change (with 71%, 48%, and 41%, respectively). Geographic location
was also one of the least important factors for making a job change behind scientific opportunities and vacation entitlement.
Survey participants were asked to anonymously describe what they enjoy best and least in their jobs. Hands down, the most
enjoyable parts of every job are the intellectual challenge, variety, and opportunities. As one respondent indicated, "I enjoy
the challenge of solving issues, thinking outside the box, and constantly being on the edge of failure or great success."
Another answers, "The variety! There is never a dull moment!" Clearly, the industry remains a passionate, dedicated work environment.
Like in any industry, however, workers complain of being bogged down by politics, red tape, and poor communication with upper
management. Respondents indicate they are sometimes "punished" for risk-taking and that company bureaucracy and wasteful management
hinder progress and flexibility. When asked to describe the least enjoyable aspects of the job, one respondent replied, "Interference
in execution of my daily job functions by superiors who do not know/understand the approach I am using. Also, setting of project
goals and directions by incompetent nonscientific personnel who do not possess a real understanding of customer needs and
markets in the areas of work I am involved in." Also weighing in were issues such as long work hours and coworker personality