One in four workers want to change jobs

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(Last updated )

Nearly a quarter of employees are considering changing their jobs in the next year to help stay afloat during the cost of living crisis

Workplace dissatisfaction was a major concern with many people looking to move as a result of poor pay, accentuated by economic and job uncertainty.

More than 53,000 workers across 46 countries were surveyed for PwC’s workforce hopes and fears survey, including over 2,000 UK respondents, on their experiences in the workplace.

While higher pay was one motivating factor for changing jobs, job fulfilment was another key priority for many UK workers, with 23% citing unmanageable workloads and a lack of flexible working as some of the reasons to change jobs.

More than a fifth (21%) said they were dissatisfied with their current role – highlighting that even despite economic uncertainty, they were still looking to move.

Their reasons for this included being regularly overworked, of which for many, had been ‘unmanageable’ over the last year (21%).

Lack of resourcing is most often the factor indicated as causing an unmanageable workload (44%), most acutely seen in the health, public sector and retail.

Almost half (47%) of the surveyed UK workforce said that they were struggling to make ends meet, with little to no money left over at the end of the month after expenses. In comparison, the average across the globe was below that of the UK figure, standing at 38%.

Around 12% of workers said that they had more than one job, with around 70% of these citing more money as their reason why.

The economic squeeze has also driven up pay demands, with over a third (34%) of workers planning to negotiate a pay rise in the next 12 months – up 7% from 2022.

Sarah Moore, head of people and organisation at PwC, said: ‘It’s clear that workplace dissatisfaction looms large – with pay, workload and overall fulfilment at the top of employees’ minds. As economic conditions remain uncertain, employers will have less means to respond through pay, so will need to find more flexible and innovative approaches to engaging their staff.

‘Organisations who continue to prioritise their people and invest in programmes focused on wellbeing, flexible working, career progression and more personalised benefits will reap the rewards of employee loyalty.’

Artificial intelligence

When asked about their stance on artificial intelligence (AI), less than a fifth (19%) believed that the function would improve their productivity and efficiency at work – compared to 31% globally.

Nearly half (47%) were also oblivious to the overall impact that AI posed on their jobs, with 31% believing that it would not impact their job at all.

Laura Hinton, tax, legal and people and organisation leader at PwC, said: ‘Businesses continue to undergo massive change – accelerated by AI – and leaders are thinking about how they can use emerging technology to improve jobs, skills and workforce productivity.

‘The survey shows a paradox that UK workers are less positive about AI than workers globally, but at the same time don’t believe it will impact their jobs.

‘The truth is, AI is both a threat and an opportunity – equipping workers to understand the impact and use it responsibly will help them maximise the opportunity and unlock productivity. That’s why we’re investing heavily in AI at PwC and incorporating it into everyday work.’

Nearly two thirds (63%) of workers feel they have human-centric skills which are not clear from their education or job history alone and when thinking about the future, nearly half (49%) of UK workers agreed that the skills required will change significantly in the next five years.

Interestingly, over two thirds of employees (63%) believed soft skills wouls be important to their careers and almost half (46%) said employers are overly focused on the narrow confines of job history.

Sarah Moore, head of people and organisation at PwC, said: ‘Businesses are going through a time of significant disruption – skills shortages, technology advancements and new ways of working means CEOs need to listen to their workforce to successfully adapt.

‘Key to this will be the necessity of leaders to engage the workforce to this change and equip them with the skills of the future. The skills shortage is not a new problem, but there is a mismatch between the skills required and those that employees see as central to their development.

‘In this context, shifting to a human centric skills based organisation could be key. Employers who use skills to find the right people for the right job will widen their talent pool, allowing them to find talent hiding in plain sight.’

Stay interviews are a useful tool in gauging employee satisfaction. Try BrAInbox for questions like What are the benefits of a stay interview? and What should I ask in a stay interview?

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