17 October 2022, by Victoria Séveno

According to the Work Happiness Survey conducted by MonitorGroep, while people in the Netherlands are generally happy in their work, they feel less connected to their colleagues and are struggling under increased workloads. 

Those with jobs in the Netherlands generally pretty happy at work

Carried out annually by a research institute based in Utrecht, the Work Happiness Survey (Werkgelukonderzoek) examines eight different factors which all contribute to the overall happiness people feel in their jobs. These factors range from the trust and value they experience with employers, to the satisfaction and autonomy they feel on a day-to-day basis. 

MonitorGroep found that the reasons most commonly cited by respondents for quitting or leaving a job were high levels of work pressure (36 percent), too few opportunities for career advancement (30 percent), salaries (30 percent) and the organisation of the work (30 percent).

The latest edition of the survey found that overall happiness at work has not decreased between 2021 and 2022, with the 1.400 people surveyed giving an average score of 7,2 out of 10 for the overall pleasure they feel at work. However, MonitorGroep noticed some significant changes across some of the various factors assessed as part of the survey. 

High workloads and lack of connection between colleagues

While last year saw an average score of 7,3 out of 10 for the Connection factor, this year the figure dropped to just seven, meaning that on the whole those working in the Netherlands fell less connected to or bonded with their colleagues. Similarly, the Meaning factor received an average score of just 6,7, down from 6,9 in 2021, signalling that employees find it harder to find meaning in their work. 

While the falling Connection score can be attributed to the fact that people spend more time working from home after the coronavirus pandemic, MonitorGroep also highlights it as a side effect of increased workloads. The proportion of respondents who indicate that they suffer from high workloads has been increasing steadily over the past three years, with 20 percent of those involved in the survey now admitting that they experience high levels of pressure at work. 

Those working in healthcare, education, and the retail and catering industries were found to suffer from the highest workloads. “Going the extra mile for a day to finish a project, that works out well,” researcher Arie Pieter Veldhoen told the AD. “[But] work pressure becomes too much if we have to do more every day, and if it stays that way for six weeks in a row.”

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