Compared to Americans, Europeans are known for a lax lifestyle. That’s probably because most of them are pretty happy at work.
In a recent study, The Workforce View in Europe 2017, ADP surveyed 10,000 workers across eight European countries to gauge workplace elements such as employee engagement, work-life balance and career progression.
From long hours to heavy workloads, working in tech sometimes gets a bad rap in the U.S. (even though the pay might make it worthwhile). In Europe, people who work in IT and telecommunications are reportedly the most optimistic employees -- nearly 85 percent of those surveyed said they feel positive about the next five years.
Unsurprisingly, the most optimistic countries happen to be the ones with the strongest economic outlooks. Of all eight countries surveyed (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K.), people in Poland are the most optimistic about the future, and workers in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland follow close behind.
Although workers in Poland are the most positive, the country is among the top three nations with the greatest proportion of employees who would consider moving elsewhere for a new career. Eighty-eight percent of Italians, 86 percent of Poles and 85 percent of Spaniards are attracted to the idea of an outside opportunity, especially if it’s in Germany, the U.K. or France -- the countries with the strongest economies. Likely due to a high demand for their skills, IT and telecom workers are most open to going abroad for their careers than workers in any other industry.
Along with career opportunities and workplace happiness, the IT and telecom sector leads when it comes to feeling supported, engaged and balanced at work. Eighty-one percent of employees in these industries say they feel supported at work, meaning they believe their employers want to help them progress in their careers. These workers are also the most engaged (77 percent) and have the best work-life balance (89 percent).
All of this is no coincidence. As alluded to above, the real motivator is money. Money (30 percent), relationships with colleagues (28 percent) and recognition from management (19 percent) are the factors that most effectively motivate and engage employees in Europe. However, it seems that most companies succeed at balancing these elements, because nearly three-quarters of European workers report feeling satisfied and engaged at work.