92% of French employees consider that well-being at work depends above all on a harmonious and friendly atmosphere.
OpinionWay survey: “The French and well-being in the workplace” for Hub One
Hub One, provider of information and communication technology services in professional environments, reveals the results of a study of “The French and well-being in the workplace”, conducted by OpinionWay from 11 to 18 May 2018.
As part of the Quality of Life in the Workplace week, from 11 to 15 June, the objective of which is to improve the well-being and health of employees while optimising the performance of companies, Hub One wanted to understand and analyse how French employees perceive their work environment.
The primacy of human values
Although a very large majority of employees and bosses in French companies consider their well-being in the workplace to be “satisfactory” (68%), only 11% consider it to be “very satisfactory”. Succeeding in harmoniously reconciling pay level, friendly relations between colleagues, interest of allotted tasks, recognition from superiors and work-life balance constitutes an alchemy that is particularly complex to achieve. What is more, the right dosage of these criteria differs from one employee to the next, and so it is very difficult to satisfy everyone working in a company.
Difficult, but not impossible. The Hub One survey in fact demonstrates that both the most satisfied and least satisfied employees tend to focus on the same criteria. Certain parameters will therefore strongly influence the notion of well-being within the company, along with the notions of fulfilment and usefulness, which are very closely correlated. The French employees and bosses least satisfied with their well-being in the workplace feel neither fulfilled nor useful (70%); and the most satisfied are those who have the strongest feeling of fulfilment and usefulness at work (68%).
And these parameters are above all human: the French consider that their well-being at work is strongly linked with the harmonious and friendly atmosphere with their colleagues (29%) and, secondly, with their work-life balance (21%). These two criteria are considered as more important than the pay level, which “only” accounts for 18% of the votes. While the atmosphere at work is judged to be important by all employees, it is more so for those who consider themselves to be “unhappy” at work (29%), compared to the most fulfilled (24%).
The size of the company and the geographical situation tend to influence the feeling of well-being in the workplace.
According to this survey, the staff numbers of the company and its geographical situation may affect the feeling of well-being in the workplace: while 18% of employees in micro-enterprises feel more fulfilled in the professional environment, only 7% of employees in large corporations say they are. More generally, it appears that the larger the company is, the more the sense of fulfilment in the workplace tends to decrease, since 10% and 9% respectively of employees working an SME or a mid-sized company are satisfied with their well-being.
These results are to be correlated with the geographical sector. Employees in the north-east of France seem to be the most fulfilled (13%), while those in the Greater Paris region (Ile-de-France) are the most dissatisfied (21%). The local economic fabric is also to be taken into consideration: of the employees polled, 34% work in large corporations situated in the Greater Paris region and 16% in large corporations in the north-east of France; 12% work in SMEs in the Greater Paris region and 30% in SMEs in the north-east, where well-being and fulfilment get the best scores.
Lastly, the proximity between home and workplace is cited by 29% of French workers as a key element of their satisfaction.
Work-life balance cited by fulfilled employees
While a harmonious and friendly atmosphere between colleagues is of prime importance, the work-life balance and flexible working hours and the possibility of mobile working are also crucial satisfaction levers: fulfilled employees consider these two criteria as being particularly important (scoring 61% and 53% respectively).
Furthermore, the pay level is judged to be less important than a good work-life balance, in particular for the most satisfied employees on the panel, the findings for whom indicate that this balance is just as important as job security (27%), and well ahead of the pay level (13%).
Quality of relations between employees (harmony), working environment (human-scale structures) and quality of life (short travel times, adjustable working hours, teleworking, etc.) do not seem to minimise the importance of the pay level or the quality of the assigned tasks, but do put them into perspective. This survey would suggest that worker satisfaction is perhaps the primary component of the secret to well-being in the workplace, leading to fulfilment.
“This study highlights the capital importance accorded by French workers to the relations fostered with their colleagues and the atmosphere in the workplace. Finding a better work-life balance and having the possibility of flexible working hours and mobile working are what people expect more and more today,” says Patricia Lorreyte, HR and CSR Director, Hub One. “Well-being in the workplace is an essential factor in employee motivation. But there is no miracle recipe: being attentive to their needs and expectations is vital. At Hub One, we pay special attention to the well-being of our staff and put in place many initiatives to offer them a fulfilling and stimulating working environment.”
Top 5 “little extras” popular with the French in the workplace
A works committee with a substantive portfolio of holiday trips (18%)
The possibility of taking special leave for personal projects (15%)
Financial-aid services (subsidised housing loan, general loans, subsidies, etc.) (13%)
The possibility of taking diploma courses in parallel to your normal work (12%)
Initiatives to help you stay in good health (11%)
This study was conducted from 11 to 18 May 2018 by OpinionWay on a sample of 1014 employees and company bosses representative of the French population aged 18 and over by means of an online self-administered questionnaire, on a CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interview) system. The survey was carried out according to the quotas method, taking account of the following criteria: sex, age, socio-professional category, region, and size of town/city.
The survey results are available on request.