Mobile Banner People at Work 2023

People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View

Discover global, regional and local country insights to better understand, motivate and retain your people

Spotlight on: Australia

No place for complacency – pay across the divide

Our survey reveals that women’s pay rises are lagging those of men – with Australia’s workers predicting this trend won’t change any time soon.

The nation’s salary increases in the past 12 months averaged 5.7% for men, compared to only 4.4% for women. In the next 12 months, men expect to see their pay increase by an average of 6.3%, while women predict an uplift of just 5.2%.

A closer look at gender-related pay issues across Australia:

Root causes

Of the Australian workers dissatisfied with their jobs, 11% of women attribute this to the gender pay gap, versus 6% of men.

Pay priorities

More women (63%) rank ‘salary’ as the most important part of a job than men (53%).

Disappointing pay

More women (50%) than men (42%) are dissatisfied with what their employer is paying them.

Career progressing?

Men (55%) are more likely than women (48%) to say that their employer talks to them about career progression.

Relative improvements

40% of men think their company has improved in gender pay equality compared to three years ago - only 29% of women agree.

Relative worth

55% of women consider themselves underpaid for their role, compared to 43% of men.

Freely available

More men (40%) than women (24%) would consider doing unpaid hours to help secure their job.

Acceptable alternatives

47% of women would accept extra days’ annual leave in place of a pay rise, compared to 30% of men.

Australia’s workplaces are stuck in the mud

DE&I, gender pay equality and wage theft progress stalls.


A look back with Nela Richardson

Video People at Work

Stability and job security

Stability and job security

The Asia Pacific region is an economic powerhouse. Here workers have a reputation for hard work and expect to be suitably compensated.

But our research in Australia, China, India and Singapore has also shown the region to be a leader in ways other than the simply economic — from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to mental health awareness.

Despite recent economic uncertainty, the research reveals a stabilisation across the region — from levels of optimism, job satisfaction and unpaid overtime to fewer workers considering a career change. No surprise then that job security fears appear to be receeding.

Download reports
Icon World

The world faces a chronic skills shortage

Get the knowledge you need to hold on to talent.

Download reports  

Spotlight on: Asia Pacific

Recognise and reward the effort and energy

While business leaders can sharpen their competitive edge by harnessing their workers’ commitment and drive, they cannot take these for granted. This year’s research indicates that employers in the Asia Pacific region still have work to do to meet employee expectations across a range of workplace policies.

Let’s take a closer look:


The average pay rise across the region was 7.2% but the numbers of workers saying ‘I am always, often or sometimes underpaid’ ranges from 27% in China to a worrying 70% in India.


On average, 44% of employees across Asia Pacific say mental health is adversely affecting their performance while 66% state stress is also causing their work to suffer.

Job fulfilment

Year-on-year, fewer workers in the Asia Pacific region are considering a career move. But still a quarter to a third are thinking of a change, from shifting industry to establishing their own business.

Diversity, equity and inclusion

A DEI gap is emerging: Chinese and Indian workers enjoyed the greatest DEI improvements in the past three years, with 89% and 94% respectively saying their employer are offering DEI initiatives. Yet, the number falls to 76% in Australia and 79% in Singapore.


Having some choice over location and hours has become the norm. Workers now rank career progression (27%) and job enjoyment (48%) as more important factors.

Career progression

Chinese workers seem satisfied with their training and development (61%) and career progression (58%) but in the other Asia Pacific nations, around a half or less are happy with these aspects.


What do workers want and how can you deliver it?

Following one of the largest global surveys of its kind — undertaken between 28 October and 18 November 2022 — ADP Research Institute® brings you vital intelligence into the attitudes, aspirations, wants and needs of 32,612 workers in 17 countries, including 8,613 working exclusively in the gig economy.

How you can benefit from this research:

  • Discover what your employees might really be thinking
  • Adapt your approach to people recruitment, reward and retention
  • Apply the findings to drive your business transformation.

What employees want you to know:

Icon Job satisfaction

Job satisfaction

While 87% feel optimistic about the future, 62% think no sector will escape the effects of the current economic uncertainty and almost four in 10 (37%) don’t feel secure in their jobs.

Icon Pay and benefits

Pay and benefits

61% say salary’s the key factor in their job and 62% expect a pay rise from their current employer in the next year. Yet 43% are sometimes, often or always underpaid.

Icon Mental health

Mental health

Nearly half (47%) say their work suffers due to poor mental health while 65% claim stress adversely affects performance. Employers are responding through positive mental health initiatives.

Icon Flexibility


Nearly half (48%) say they could relocate overseas with their existing employer. Workers now prioritise career progression and job enjoyment over flexible hours and locations.