Business Irish

Saturday 30 August 2014

Irish salaries among highest in EU but we're not happy

Sarah McCabe

Published 25/04/2014 | 02:30

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Irish salaries are among the highest in the EU but we're not happy
Irish salaries are among the highest in the EU but we're not happy
Despite high salaries, we're still not that happy in our jobs
Despite high salaries, we're still not that happy in our jobs

Despite earning some of the highest salaries in Europe, Irish people are far from the happiest in the EU with their jobs.

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We clock in at eleventh in terms of job satisfaction, a study by European statistics agency Eurobarometer has found. About 83pc of Irish people surveyed said they were satisfied with their current working conditions – pretty poor compared with Denmark, where 94pc said they were satisfied, but much better than Greece, where just 38pc expressed contentment.

The findings are in line with those in a separate survey by Accenture of 4,100 Irish executives, which found that one in four Irish executives is actively looking for a new job.

For women, this stems primarily from the fact that they believe there is no opportunity for growth within their position (33pc), followed by no opportunity for advancement, feeling underpaid and feeling trapped in their current position (30pc apiece), the Accenture survey found.

For men, feeling underpaid (39pc) is the biggest cause of job dissatisfaction, followed by lack of opportunity for advancement (35pc) and feeling tired or burned out (32pc).

Despite many of us feeling underpaid, the survey still detected a drop in the number of people seeking an increase in pay. About 49pc had asked for a raise, with 71pc successful, a slight fall on 2013 figures.

"It's probably not surprising that professionals are still feeling disenfranchised with their jobs, given the strain the economy has put on the workplace over the last five years," said Ryan Shanks, head of talent at Accenture.

Some of this is to do with the increasing dominance of technology and the effect this has on work/life balance, he said. Smartphones and tablets that allow workers to be contactable 24/7, and work remotely, are undermining the idea of 9 to 5 and widening our working hours, the survey found.

"We believe employers need to start preparing their workforces to manage flexible working so that people can achieve a proper balance in a digital world," he said.

"As the economy starts to pick up, so will the buoyancy of the jobs market and we will see a return to greater job mobility."

Yet while working hours might be getting longer, we're still doing reasonably well when it comes to time off.

The Eurobaromoter research shows that most European workers benefit from appropriate work breaks and holiday periods; nine out of 10 get at least four weeks of paid holidays per year. A majority of employees also said they have access to some form of flexibility at work, such as special leave or working from home.

Irish Independent

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