News - 16.10.2014 klo 15.40

Survey: economic difficulties causing insecurity at the workplace

Finns feel more under threat and insecure in working life than before. The pace and intensity of work also seem more demanding.

The results are from the Working Life Barometer, which is carried out by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. In the new 2013 survey 1,755 employees were interviewed. The annual Barometer was published in September 2014.

The views on the employment situation in general and the economic performance of the workplace have been pessimistic for three years in a row, the survey says.

”In 2013 ten per cent of the employees thought it possible that they would be laid off and one fifth thought they could be laid off temporarily within the next year. Fear of losing ones job is most common for those working in the industry sector but compared to 2012 insecurity has increased most in the municipalities.”

In case of unemployment, the chances of getting a new job that match skills have decreased somewhat since the previous year. Young people are most optimistic: some 90 per cent of those under the age of 45 were positive about finding new employment. In the 55 to 64 year age group less than half believed so.

Change is constant

Working life is changing at an accelerating pace. ”Almost 60 per cent said that there had been changes at their workplace in the past year and 65 per cent were often working to tight deadlines or at very high speed. The speed of work is high especially for upper-level employees and for managers”, the survey revealed.

There was some positive development, too. The proportion of employees who are entitled to flexible working time has increased by ten percentage points since 2006. In 2013 about 70 per cent of the employees enjoyed flexible working time and 60 per cent could accumulate hours to take full days off.

Measures to improve occupational health are also developing well. This is especially true in smaller working places. Most of the employees said they have good working ability. This is also the case with older employees: 45 per cent of the 55 – 64 year olds had good and around a third had excellent work ability.

Four out of five said that there are good chances to learn new things at their workplace and 57 per cent had participated in employer paid training.

Around half of those interviewed said they have good opportunities to take part in designing and implementing changes at their work place. This figure is higher than before.

Still around 15 per cent of employees had no say on the speed or content of their work and around a quarter did not have any possibilities to influence the division of tasks.

”The differences between the socio-economic groups concerning learning, employee participation and autonomy have remained considerable – upper level employees have the best and manual workers the worst opportunities”, according to the Barometer.

Written by: Heikki Jokinen