• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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90% of UK employees are ‘quiet quitting’ as they seek new opportunities

A recent report from Gallup’s “State of the Global Workforce 2024” highlights a troubling trend in the United Kingdom’s workforce. According to the report, a mere 10% of U.K. workers feel engaged with their jobs.

This alarming statistic places the U.K. behind the U.S. and several European countries in terms of employee engagement. Consequently, an overwhelming 90% of employees in the U.K. are disengaged from their roles, potentially contributing to the widespread phenomenon of “quiet quitting.”

The report also sheds light on the emotional well-being of U.K. employees. A staggering 40% of workers report experiencing daily stress, while 27% feel daily sadness, marking the second-highest rate of sadness among European nations.

Additionally, 20% of U.K. employees reported feeling daily anger. In comparison, the global average for employee engagement stands at 23%, with 33% of U.S. workers feeling engaged at work.

Read also: Top 10 African countries with the highest worker stress rate

Gallup’s report suggests that economic factors play a significant role in the high levels of disengagement.

The survey, which gathered data from 128,278 working adults across 160 countries in 2023, indicates that many actively disengaged workers remain in jobs they dislike due to economic constraints.

Job opportunities often allow dissatisfied employees to leave unfavorable situations, but the current U.K. job market does not inspire confidence among workers.

According to the U.K. Office for National Statistics, job vacancies have been on the decline since their peak post-pandemic in 2022. In January 2024, job vacancies dropped by 31% compared to two years ago.

This decline has led to decreased confidence among U.K. workers about finding new employment opportunities. Less than half of the surveyed employees believe it is a good time to find a job, and almost one-third are actively seeking new employment.

Data from an Understanding Society longitudinal study, which sampled 10,000 individuals in the U.K. from 1991 to 2022, reveals that 26% of respondents expressed a desire to switch jobs.

However, only 25% of those who wanted to change jobs did so within three years, and 19% remained in their positions despite wanting to leave.

Read also: 10 countries in Africa with the lowest worker stress rate

This indicates that between 20% and 40% of the workforce in U.K. organizations consists of “quiet quitters.”

The phenomenon of quiet quitting and widespread disengagement has significant repercussions for companies and the broader economy.

Gallup estimates that low levels of engagement cost the global economy $8.9 trillion, equivalent to 9% of the global GDP.

However, the Gallup 2024 meta-analysis of 183,000 business units across 53 industries and 90 countries found that organizations with high employee engagement report substantially better outcomes.

Companies with high levels of employee engagement see a 68% increase in employee well-being, a 23% increase in profitability, and a 13% increase in productivity.

The report highlights that being actively disengaged at work can have negative effects comparable to or worse than unemployment on various well-being measures, including stress, anger, worry, and loneliness.

Conversely, meaningful work and positive work relationships are associated with high levels of daily enjoyment and lower levels of negative emotions.

The findings from Gallup’s “State of the Global Workforce 2024” report illustrate a critical need for U.K. employers to address employee engagement and well-being.

The high levels of disengagement, stress, and negative emotions among U.K. workers not only affect individual well-being but also have broader economic implications.

By fostering a more engaging and supportive work environment, companies can enhance productivity, profitability, and overall employee well-being, ultimately contributing to a healthier and more robust economy.

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