When choosing to stay at a job, what factors are most important to employees? In order to retain talent pipelines, what should companies prioritize? Do desk-workers and non-desk workers have different priorities? According to The Adecco Group’s Global Workforce of the Future report 2022, there are several trends to keep an eye on. There are stark differences between desk and non-desk workers and trends vary based on age and employment status. Here are 5 key facts about workers in 2022.


5 Important Facts About Workers in 2022


Quitting contagion


Workers are twice as likely to quit if they see others leaving. It's like a domino effect. A quitfluencer is the phenomenon in which workers take action after seeing their colleagues quitting. This is the same for desk-based and non-desk based workers. 70% contemplate quitting in the next twelve months, and 50% do take action. Compared to Baby Boomers, Gen Z are 2.5 times more likely to be influenced to quit. 


There is a high level of concern about inflation


Six out of ten workers are worried that their salary will not keep up with inflation, and millennials and Gen Z workers are most concerned.


Half of the non-desk-based workers report working on a cash-in-hand basis or are considering taking on a second job to deal with the rising cost of living. This is more common among millennials.


According to workers, economic uncertainty will affect their ability to find a job in the future. However, few believe they will lose their jobs as a result of this uncertainty. In a surprising finding, more than 60% of workers believe that automation, artificial intelligence, digitisation, and the green economy will force them to learn new skills, and make their current skills less relevant.


Career conversations are a critical part of career progression and talent retention.


The Great Re-evaluation continues in the candidate job market. Our Global Workforce of the Future report reveals that workers are largely missing out on training opportunities, career conversations, and internal opportunities.


Companies are investing less in their non-manager workers. Only 36% of non-managers say their company invests in developing their skills, compared to 64% of managers. This huge difference explains why non-managers, including non-desk workers, may feel shortchanged.


Further, a quarter of the workforce has never had a career conversation (23%). Workers who have frequent career conversations are 10 times more likely to be encouraged to apply for internal job openings than those who do not.


There is a significantly higher degree of disengagement among non-desk workers than among desk-based workers. It is almost 10 points less likely that they will stay in their current company or progress to another job within the company.


There is a significant gap in satisfaction between desk and non-desk workers (52% vs. 65%) when it comes to maintaining mental health and wellbeing.


The term non-desk employee refers to employees who do not work behind a desk and it is therefore difficult to reach them by email and intranet. Workers’ satisfaction with their workload, mental and physical health and wellbeing are at the bottom of the list.


The key to promoting worker resilience is to create a safe working environment. To prevent burnout, companies should encourage their people to take all their annual leave and establish a culture of trust and safety. 


Salary is not the only factor that keeps employees motivated.


About half of all workers who want to quit in the next 12 months cite salary as the main reason for leaving. Interestingly, the number of non-managers (52%) who choose a higher salary is much higher than the number of managers (37%).


Yet, salaries aren't the only factor affecting workers' attitudes; among those who feel engaged in their jobs, salary drops to sixth on a list of priorities. Only 25% of employees cite their salary as the reason for remaining at their job.


In our survey, the majority of workers who plan to stay with their current employer in the next 12 months do it because they are happy, their job offers stability, they have a good work-life balance, they like their colleagues and they also have good flexibility. Worth noting that flexibility is more important to non-desk workers than salary, and it is also a very important perk for the new generation of employees.


Key Takeaways


When talent is scarce and economic uncertainty is present, organisations should ensure salaries for vacant positions remain competitive. To increase employee mobility, especially at non-management levels, organisations need to invest in upskilling and development for their workers. Besides increasing employee satisfaction, it will also make the business more future-proof and create a talent pipeline.


The first step should be career conversations and performance reviews, as well as internal mobility. Putting in place effective training programs at all levels of the organisation through partnerships with experts is key. To avoid burnout and career breaks, companies must also implement effective mental health support programs and early detection systems. It is possible to promote good mental health by encouraging employees to take time off and encouraging open communication throughout the organisation.