Data about knowledge workers’ priorities reveal low overall dissatisfaction, high emphasis on flexibility
Austin, Texas (March 31, 2022) – Kizen, the makers of a no-code data platform and intelligent business assistant, today released the results of a new national survey of knowledge workers which revealed fresh insights about worker satisfaction, burnout and the future of work. The survey results both confirmed prevailing narratives, such as those about the value of financial security and flexibility, and called others into question, such as the notion that widespread dissatisfaction is fueling turnover.
“Leaders are navigating a totally new paradigm for attracting and retaining team members. Understanding what employees value and appreciate is key,” said John Winner, co-founder and CEO of Kizen. “As it turns out, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to satisfying employees, who value different aspects of work depending on their interests and circumstances. But flexibility and a sense of purpose seem to be powerful tools for recruiting talent and building a fulfilled, happy workplace – and they’re certainly things we emphasize at Kizen.”
Some of the major findings of the survey are summarized as follows:
The Great Resignation may have peaked. The notion that Americans are broadly unhappy at work and want to quit their jobs is not true for most knowledge workers currently in full-time roles.
- Only one quarter of working adults report feeling burned out (7%) or tired (18%).
- One quarter also say nothing makes them dissatisfied with their current job – the most common response to this question.
- About a third (37%) have considered quitting their job in the last 12 months, and 6% have done so. More than half have not even considered quitting.
- Those who have considered quitting are more commonly young adults, people in urban areas and those going into an office, as opposed to working from home.
- Most people (57%) believe they work the right amount of hours, while one-third (37%) of employees feel they work too much.
Beyond pay – which is a first-order priority – flexibility and interesting or meaningful work were rated as the most important factors to consider about a work arrangement.
“Financial security” is rated highest in importance, followed closely by “the money I can make.”
- Nearly half (48%) of workers cite their paycheck as what they love most about their current job.
- One’s paycheck is also a top driver of dissatisfaction: 19% say it’s what they dislike most about their current job, and higher (25%) among entry-level workers.
“Flexibility for things outside of work” ranks as the second most important factor to consider about a work arrangement.
- This was the top-rated priority for a majority of remote workers and of young parents.
Workers also highly value “doing something interesting” and “giving me a sense of purpose” as well as “an opportunity to use my talents”.
- However, “interesting or fun” work is less likely than the people to drive job satisfaction: 37% say it’s what they love about their current job.
- “Financial security” is rated highest in importance, followed closely by “the money I can make.”
Good coworkers and culture are highly important.
- When it comes to what workers love about their current jobs, “my colleagues” ranked highly – just behind the paycheck and flexibility.
- By contrast, “culture (how things are done)” was the top driver of dissatisfaction at current roles. It was cited by 19% of workers.
- Having a bad boss is another frequent source of dissatisfaction: 16% list this as a key reason they dislike their job.
- Those in an office are more dissatisfied with culture; few people working remotely are dissatisfied.
Technology has the potential to make work better.
- More than one-third of workers (37%) say they frequently feel either bored or overwhelmed in their work, both of which technology could improve.
- And nearly all (87% of workers) say if technology made their job more efficient, they would be willing to adopt it.
A sense of purpose and a shorter commute may prevent burnout.
- Workers with a commute longer than one hour are three times as likely to feel burned out than workers with a <30 min commute.
- Just 4% of workers who “definitely” have a sense of purpose in their lives feel burned out, compared to 29% of workers who say they do not really have a sense of purpose.
To learn more about these findings, view the complete Future of Work Report.
The survey of 1,104 U.S. adults working full-time in non-manual jobs (who use a computer for their work at least 2 hours per day) was conducted February 22 – 27, 2022. Respondents were recruited from an online research panel and surveyed across a combination of computer, mobile and tablet devices. Survey questions were administered in English. The margin of error is +/-2.9% at the 95% confidence interval. The study was conducted by Pinkston.
Kizen helps companies drive faster, smarter growth by making cutting-edge technology available to everyone through its no-code business platform and intelligent virtual assistant, Zoe. With Kizen, companies can easily unify all data (marketing, sales, experience, revenue, and cost data) and leverage intelligent automations to save time, invest more efficiently, and personalize every customer experience. By unburdening teams of complicated systems and dependency on programmers, Kizen transforms how work gets done to unlock greater value across every business. Learn more at Kizen.com.