Here at ADP we have just launched The Workforce View in Europe 2018; a piece of research which explores the attitudes of almost 10,000 European employees towards the future of work. The annual report, now in its third year, offers unparalleled insight into how the world of work is changing, and how employees are feeling about these changes. As a HR professional I know how important it is to keep abreast of trending issues that could impact employees’ happiness, engagement and productivity.

With seemingly endless transformation currently taking place, it is more important than ever to analyse the feelings of our most important assets – our employees. The report offers findings on business-critical issues, such as employee optimism and retention, skills and career development, productivity challenges, technology, wellbeing and discrimination. With the gig economy constantly in the news, and automation fears continue growing, it is more important than ever before to understand employees’ attitudes towards work.

Widespread economic growth and falling unemployment point to a period of relative stability, and employees across Europe are responding to this. The report’s findings have shown that, despite widespread changes in the workplace, optimism has continued to rise for the third year running with a one percentage point increase compared to last year.

However that’s not to say, sadly, that all is rosy. The results have also shown discrimination continues to be a large problem with over one in three European workers having felt discriminated against at work. Mental well-being is also not being taken seriously enough with more than one in ten (14%) respondents believing their company takes no interest in their mental wellbeing. Many responded that they feel stressed on a daily basis (18%) with a staggering 30% feeling so stressed that they are considering finding a new job.

The UK’s productivity puzzle is also evident with a fifth of UK respondents struggling to be productive at work, with those surveyed citing bad management (19%), inefficient systems and processes (18%) and slow and inefficient technology (15%) as the biggest barriers to productivity.

Styles of working are changing too, with fewer employees considering self-employment as an option compared to 2017 (60% vs 68%). The globalised workplace isn’t being welcomed with only 6% of employees surveyed actively considering moving abroad for work, although the number rises in countries such as Italy where 11% are keen to travel abroad in search of employment.

More than ever it is imperative that employers understand their workers and how they can best motivate and engage them to thrive in the workplace. Research like The Workforce View is hugely important in getting into your employees’ mind-sets, and understanding what is be working and what isn’t.

Everyone knows that there is no greater asset to a company than its employees, so trying your best to understand them is well worth the time invested.

‘The Workforce View in Europe 2018’ report explores the attitudes of employees toward the future of work. The research for ADP was carried out by independent market research agency Opinion Matters in August 2017. The sample consisted of 9,908 working adults in eight territories across Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. Please see the full report here.

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