People at Work 2024

People at Work 2024: A Global Workforce View

Discover invaluable insights to improve your employees’ experience

What do employees want and how should you respond?

We aim to provide some of the answers following one of the largest international surveys of its kind. This ADP Research Institute® study provides insights into the hopes, desires and needs of over 34,600 workers in 18 countries.

How can this study help you?

  • Discover what your employees might really be thinking
  • Adapt your approach to recruitment, reward and retention
  • Apply the findings to drive your business transformation

What employees want you to know:

ICN Underpaid and overworked?

Underpaid and overworked?

While 40% of workers globally report being regularly underpaid, most people (37%) are working six to 10 hours per week for free – that’s at least three full days a month.

ICN Why work more than one job?

Why work more than one job?

25% of respondents around the world work more than one job. 42% do so to earn enough to live on, 31% to finance a better lifestyle, 23% to fund retirement and 21% to repay debt.

ICN Mental health: managers matter

Mental health: managers matter

Once again, people are more likely to say they feel supported by colleagues than by their managers when it comes to mental health at work. 75% of 18- to 24-year-olds say their work suffers due to stress — the highest of any age group surveyed.

ICN What people expect of AI

What people expect of AI

Nearly a third (28%) of the world’s workers think AI will replace some of their existing functions, while around a fifth believe the new technology will save them time every day.

Europe: could do better?

After a challenging few years, Europe’s key economies in our study — France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK — show signs of gradual recovery.

Although Europe remains an attractive place to work or set up a business, it’s clear more needs to be done when it comes to progressive employment rights and policies.

From paying people more fairly for the work they do to making meaningful headway on employees’ career prospects, European business leaders could devise ways to improve their employees’ experience and, therefore, their ability to attract and retain talent.

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Europe: could do better?

Essential work insights shaping the European workforce

There’s work to be done on behalf of Europe’s workers

Europe has a thriving mixed economy, based on free trade and advanced social models — only the United States and Chinese economies are larger. But this year’s research clearly shows where Europe’s business leaders are in danger of falling behind their global competitors.

Let’s take a closer look:

Poor access to pay information

While around 70% of workers around the world are satisfied with being able to access their pay information online, that figure falls to just 56% for European employees.

Falling behind on fair pay

Only 53% of workers in Europe think they’re paid fairly for the work they do 􀋓 lagging the global average of 67%. A quarter of Europe’s workers don’t think they’re paid fairly at all.

Focus on financial wellbeing advice

Only 38% say their employer provides this, while 61% of workers globally benefit from such advice. No surprise then that only 39% say they’re satisfied with the financial advice their employer offers.

AI’s impact on the workforce

Over a fifth (21%) of Europe’s workers think AI will replace some of their existing functions, while 13% believe AI will save them time every day. Both these numbers are lower than the global average. Do Europe’s workers appreciate the potential of AI?

Why work more than one job?

Of the fifth of Europe’s workers who have more than one source of income, 38% say this is so they can make enough to live on. What more can European employers do to take the financial pressure off their staff?

What progress on career progression?

Only 47% of Europe’s workers are satisfied with their career progression. The global average for this topic is 64%. What’s more, nearly two thirds (59%) of Europe’s employees don’t feel secure in their jobs. Is there a connection?

Unveiling the UK's workforce secrets: powerful insights to boost your business

A time of challenge and change — for businesses and their staff

The UK, with a population approaching 70 million, is considered a major international trading nation with the second-largest economy in Europe.

However, with stalled economic growth and inflation and interest rates both above government targets, businesses and their workers still face considerable cost-of-living pressures.

What matters to the UK’s workers

ICN Counting the cost of living

Counting the cost of living

37% would accept a one-off payment to help with the cost of living if a pay rise wasn’t possible. But many more women (42%) than men (33%) say so.

ICN Flexible Hours

Flexible hours come first

Nearly half (49%) of women and 32% of men rank ‘flexibility of hours’ as most important in their job. Even more mothers (55%) than fathers (34%) agree.

ICN People skills in prime position

‘People skills’ in prime position

42% think ‘people skills’ will be the most important skill, while 23% think AI will replace some of their existing job functions in the next few years.

ICN Accessing pay information online

Accessing pay information online

Only 74% of workers have access to their pay information online – and even fewer (59%) of 18-24-year-olds can access their pay data.

Gender pay perceptions

Only 32% of UK workers think their employer is better at gender pay equality than three years ago, a small share compared to the global average of 46%.

The fair pay gap

While 63% of men think they’re paid fairly for the work they do, only 53% of women agree. And 28% of women (compared to 17% of men) are dissatisfied with their wage.

Unpaid overtime takes its toll

Over a quarter (28%) of UK employees work between six and 10 unpaid hours a week. That equates to nearly a third of people putting in three free days of work a month.

Neurodiverse workers need real change

While mental health and stress are rightly being addressed in the workplace, only 21% of workers say their company is implementing HR policy changes to help neurodiverse staff.