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More pressure at work, but still satisfied

More pressure at work, but still satisfied

According to a global study, work stress has increased, but job satisfaction is high – if the salary is right. The desire to learn is great too.

To what extent does the tense economic situation affect workers in companies? This, among other things, is the subject of a study in which PricewaterhouseCoopers surveyed 56,000 people working in 50 countries. 1,000 Austrians also participated. The economic pressures are leaving a clear mark: 45% of respondents worldwide said their workload had increased in the past 12 months.

Austria is no exception, where 42% feel increased work pressure and 34% change their daily tasks. The good news is that despite everything, job satisfaction is relatively high. According to the current Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey, 63%, or nearly two-thirds, of employees surveyed in Austria are satisfied with their jobs. Globally, 60% said yes. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, employee satisfaction has increased slightly.

Questions were also asked about the critical criteria for job satisfaction. By far the most important thing is fair pay, followed by meaning and fulfillment in the job and flexibility. A good work-life balance is still important. However, the tense economic situation and increasing pressure on employees “put the issue of salaries and security in the spotlight,” notes PricewaterhouseCoopers expert Johanna Schaller.

There is no money to save

There is certainly a real basis for this: the share of people who still have money left over for savings, vacations or other expenses at the end of the month is 44% in Austria, one percentage point below the global average. In other words: More than half are currently unable to build up financial reserves.

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On the other hand, increased pressure to perform means that the motivation to demand more pay from the employer also increases. In Austria, 37% of respondents plan to negotiate salary within the next 12 months. More than a quarter of them are ready to change jobs. According to PwC, the appetite for change is higher than it was during the big wave of layoffs in 2022.

Employees have to adapt to new conditions even without changing their jobs: 55 percent of Austrian employees said they had experienced more changes in the past 12 months than in the previous 12 months. Accordingly, the good third are certain that they will have to learn new tools and techniques to continue doing their work successfully.

Baby boomers in particular stand out – and this may be one of the surprising findings of the survey. The repeatedly expressed bias about a lack of flexibility among older employees is completely refuted here. Although 68% of workers surveyed from this generation said they had a feeling that there was a lot of change, on average for Austria as a whole, only 48% saw it that way. At the same time, 84% of seniors feel prepared to adapt to changes. On the Austrian average across generations, “only” 78% said yes. “Ongoing training opportunities for Silver Ageers can become a powerful competitive advantage for companies,” Schaller summarizes.

More training as a benefit

In general, managers should pay more attention to the talent in their companies, provide development opportunities and respond to the desires of employees, according to the PwC expert. On the one hand, it's about making them relevant to technological change, but on the other hand, upskilling is also an important way to retain talent, says Schaller. According to the survey, those who are willing to change employers are twice as likely to participate in additional training programs.

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Even if new technologies such as artificial intelligence sometimes cause uncertainty, curiosity ultimately seems to prevail: 62% of respondents in Austria are looking forward to learning new things and growing in their role. Among working baby boomers, this percentage reaches 80 percent. (kaka)

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