Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We are often asked the same type of questions from people considering taking our surveys. Click the questions below to show text which may help you resolve these issues. Of course, feel free at any time to contact us.

What is quality of working life and why is it important?

‘Quality of Working Life’ is that part of overall quality of life that is influenced by work. It's more than just job satisfaction or work happiness, but the widest context in which an employee would evaluate their work environment. It’s important because a good quality of working life is associated with better retention and lower absence. Quality of working life matters to employees. Most importantly, people make choices about who to work for and whether to stay based on judgments about the quality of the working environments provided by their (prospective or existing) employer.

What does QoWL do?

In addition to carrying out research on working life, QoWL provides surveys and consultancy services designed to improve quality of working life for employees, which helps employers with recruitment and retention.

Why work with QoWL?

Our focus is on assessing and improving quality of working life. Therefore, we aren’t just another survey organisation. Our survey tools are based on ten years of academic psychological research. We have developed a theory and model, and have conducted rigorous research to establish the factors that predict and explain quality of working life. We know what we’re talking about.

How does the quality of working life survey service work?

It begins with the survey setup process, where we liaise with you while we tailor the survey to your requirements. For example, we help you design organisation-specific questions and establish your particular staff category questions. We can also help you with marketing your survey and provide you with email templates you can use. Then, once the survey goes live we monitor responses and deal with any issues that arise. We agree with you when the survey should close then begin the process of analysing the data. Finally we put together the report based on your particular requirements and feed back to you.

What level of support do you provide?

We provide full support with setup, design, management, resolving tech issues, and generally making the whole process flow well. We’re flexible, friendly and responsive. You’ll enjoy working with us!

Can we have paper versions of the questionnaire?

Yes, you can. Many of our clients require a paper version, even where the vast majority of people complete the survey online. There’s a small additional charge for processing paper questionnaires, which is dependent on the amount of design work required and the number of questionnaires that need to be processed. If you think your organisation will need paper versions, let us know your requirements when you contact us and we can build that into your quote.

If we use paper versions what are the postal options available and which are best?

There are a range of postal options, and each has pro’s and con’s. We’ve put together a postal options page that explains this for you. We also have a page which discusses the latest research on how to improve response rates for postal surveys.

What are the main benefits of the survey service?

There are several key benefits, including:
  • The survey enables you to build up a detailed and accurate picture of quality of working life across the organisation.
  • You can see where quality of working life is better and where improvements need to be made.
  • Our WRQoL scale enables analysis of the factors that contribute to quality of working life.
  • Through use of our QWWO scale we can provide you with advanced statistical analysis of the issues in your workplace that predict the work and well-being outcomes that matter in your organisation.
  • We provide benchmarked comparisons so you can see how your organisation compares.
  • Most importantly, the survey and follow-up demonstrates to your employees a commitment to quality of working life that has reputational benefits and positive implications for recruitment and retention.

Can we have paper versions of the questionnaire?

Yes, you can! We would be delighted to provide you with this service, although there are some qualifying criteria. Please see our free survey page for details.

What is the difference between the different levels of service you provide?

The Organisational Survey provides a comprehensive picture of quality of working life in your organisation and provides feedback on each of the three scales included in our survey. It also includes feedback on up to 10 organisation-specific questions and we provide you with an executive summary with our impressions and interpretation of your results. Please check out our Organisational Survey page for more details.

Our Full Survey Service takes the analysis onto a completely new level. The service is more bespoke and flexible and we include breakdowns by staff category (as many as you want) and by biographical category. Please bear in mind though that we can only provide analysis and feedback to you on groups of a minimum size in order to preserve anonymity and confidentiality – we are governed by strict guidelines on this. You can ask as many organisation-specific questions as you want. The services includes advanced analysis, where we statistically analyse desired work and well-being outcomes in your organistion, and qualitative analysis of comments provided in response to open questions.

Please check out our Full Survey Service page for more details.

Can we take advantage of the free service and upgrade later to the full survey service?

Yes, no problem you can do that. Many of our clients do this. The way we set up the survey means that we have everything we need to provide detailed analysis later if you require it.

Can you break down our results by staff category?

Yes. We normally ask two staff category questions, and sometimes three. Typically, we’ll ask one general occupational category question (e.g. management v. support etc.) and one specific question (e.g. area/dept). We liaise closely with you on these questions to make sure they accurately reflect what different staff do and how they label themselves.

What about biographic and demographic categories?

Yes, we ask ten such questions – we have details on our biographical information scale page. We have been using these questions for many years in our academic research so they are standardised. We are therefore able to provide you with whatever biographical or demographic breakdowns you require at the reporting stage. This level of analysis is only available with our full survey service.

Can we ask open questions, and will you provide an analysis of people’s comments / suggestions?

Yes, you can and we will. We normally ask one question related to suggestions about improving quality of working life. But we can include more if required. We provide a thematic analysis of respondents’ comments, so that anonymity is protected. As the analysis of open questions is time consuming and complex, a charge is made for this service. This level of analysis would normally be included in the full survey service.

How much do your survey services cost?

We have two levels of service for paying clients. Our Organisational Survey Service costs from £2,500 and our Full Survey Service costs from £7,500. Please contact us, giving us some information about your requirements and we’ll send you a more detailed quote.

How long does the full survey process take?

It depends on the amount of tailoring of the survey needed, and the amount and complexity of the analyses needed for the reporting stage. Typically for a full survey, we allow up 2-4 weeks for the setup phase; the survey is normally open for 3-4 weeks, and the analysis and reporting would then usually be completed within 2-4 weeks. About 10-12 weeks is typical for the whole process.

How do you safeguard confidentiality and ensure anonymity?

We follow strict guidelines set by the British Psychological Society and Market Research Society in our research and survey work. We also comply with data protection legislation. In practical terms, this means that we must be very careful with how we report back results, particularly on comparative analyses of group data. Part of our service to you is to advise on these issues. It is counter-productive to compromise on confidentiality and anonymity, because that would erode employees’ confidence in the survey process and harm both to response rates and validity of results. You can find more information about this on our privacy policy page.

Will our data help with your research?

Yes, very much so. It makes a major contribution to our research work on quality of working life. It helps us develop benchmarks and investigate key research questions. Please check out our research section for more background information on our research.

We want to include organisation-specific questions. Can we do that?

Yes. We can include up to 5 as part of our Organisational Survey Service and there is no limit to the number we can ask as part of our Full Survey Service . We’ll also help you design these questions to provide you with the best possible feedback. If you have enquiry about running a survey, just let us know about the kind of questions you might want to ask.

What benchmarks do you have and how are they used?

We have a general benchmark based upon all of our research, and specific sector benchmarks for UK universities, NHS and Trade Unions. We should also have benchmarks for Call Centers and the City of London soon and will be developing new sector benchmarks as data becomes available. Of course, if you take part, this then provides benchmark data for your organisation, against which we can compare in future years should you complete the survey again.

Who else has completed the survey?

Our client list provides an indication of whom we’ve been working with.

Does the quality of working life survey come in other languages?

Yes. The WRQoL scale is used worldwide and has been tranlated into many languages. Please contact us for details and to discuss your requirements.

Can you help us with following up the results and making improvements to quality of working life?

Yes, we can. Our Chartered Psychologists and Business Consultants provide a range of consultancy services and can provide you with expert support through the change process.

How can we maximise response rates to our survey?

There are many issues that influence response rates. We’ve put together a page to help you with this important issue.

Can people get an individual report and feedback on their quality of working life?

This service will be available soon. The individual will be able to opt in to receive their own, confidential report. It will provide a personalised profile of their overall quality of working life, and feedback on each of the six WRQoL Factors. The report will link to a web site where individuals can access information and resources on making positive changes.

We conduct academic research. Can we use QoWL’s survey tools?

Yes, we do allow academics to use our tools for research and non-commercial projects, but please contact us first to tell us about your research and how you hope to use our tools.

We would like to provide your service to our clients. Would you be interested in working with us?

Yes, we would! Just use our contact form to get in touch and tell us about what you have in mind. We love working collaboratively in this way.

  We are not based in the UK. Can you still provide us with a service?

We’d be delighted to discuss your requirements. At the moment we’re developing links with India and other countries, and would be very interested to look at working with organisations in other countries. Please use our contact form to let us know where you are and give us a bit of background, and to let us know what your requirements are.
If you still have issues that would like to be addressed, then please contact us.