People at Work 2024

People at Work 2024: A Global Workforce View

Discover invaluable insights to improve your employees’ experience

What do employees want and how should you respond?

We aim to provide some of the answers following one of the largest international surveys of its kind. This ADP Research Institute® study provides insights into the hopes, desires and needs of over 34,600 workers in 18 countries.

How can this study help you?

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

What employees want you to know:

Underpaid and overworked?

Underpaid and overworked?

While 40% of workers globally report being regularly underpaid, most people (37%) are working six to 10 hours per week for free – that’s at least three full days a month.

ICN Why work more than one job?

Why work more than one job?

25% of respondents around the world work more than one job. 42% do so to earn enough to live on, 31% to finance a better lifestyle, 23% to fund retirement and 21% to repay debt.

ICN Mental health: managers matter

Mental health: managers matter

Once again, people are more likely to say they feel supported by colleagues than by their managers when it comes to mental health at work. 75% of 18- to 24-year-olds say their work suffers due to stress — the highest of any age group surveyed.

ICN What people expect of AI

What people expect of AI

Nearly a third (28%) of the world’s workers think AI will replace some of their existing functions, while around a fifth believe the new technology will save them time every day.

Asia Pacific: realising the potential of its workforce

An economic powerhouse, the Asia Pacific region has a reputation for hard work, with many employees working two jobs to finance a better lifestyle.

Our research in Australia, China, India, Singapore and Japan shows that the region is ahead of others in many ways. For example, only 12% here say their employer isn’t doing anything to help with mental health — a much lower figure than in other regions. Similarly, just 38% of workers are ‘always, often or sometimes’ underpaid (much lower than in Europe where the average is 50%).

Organisations in this region are also more likely to participate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. And despite recent economic and geopolitical events, our research reveals a great many positives, from flexible working to career progression — though there are marked differences between some countries.

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Europe: could do better?

Spotlight on: Asia Pacific

Unveiling workforce secrets in Asia Pacific: powerful insights to boost your business

While there’s much to celebrate, employers cannot afford to become complacent. There are disparities in the employee experience between some countries. And many have work to do to level up, or risk losing skilled employees to competitors, particularly those overseas.

Let’s take a closer look:

Leading the way

The good news is that fewer workers in this region experience stress every day at work than their global counterparts, and employers here are more likely to be acting to help with staff’s mental health. In fact, two-thirds agree that their employer supports their mental wellbeing, much higher than in Europe, for example.

Pay under pressure

Last year, workers in the region overestimated their pay increases significantly — the average pay rise (4.28%) was well behind the 8.54% that they had expected. Just over a quarter also said their wages remained unchanged. Employees seem to have adjusted their expectations, however, with fewer expecting a pay rise this year than last.

Unpaid overtime on rise

People are clocking up 8.48 hours unpaid overtime a week — a lot more than Europe (6.31) and North America (7.75). In India, staff are working an extra 10.39 hours a week, higher than any other country in our survey. Of those working excessive extra hours (more than 26 extra a week), most are in India but Japan is not far behind.

Career progression positives

Workers in the region place more importance on career progression than their peers globally. On average 67% of employees are happy with their career progression and 74% of workers in India say they’re satisfied — yet only 32% say the same in Japan. Over two-thirds say they talk about career progression with their employer (well ahead of Europe at 46%).

Diversity, equity and inclusion

Employers here are the most likely to participate in at least one diversity initiative, a result driven by India and China, where almost all workers say their employers are engaged. The region also had the largest share of respondents who think their employer has improved on diversity and inclusion: 51% compared to the global average of 48%.

Japan stands out

Workers in Japan are the least content with their salary, career progression and flexibility of hours and location. They’re also far less likely to be happy with training and development and enjoyment of a day’s work. On average 67% in Asia Pacific think they’re paid fairly for their skillset 􀋓 but this falls to just 40% in Japan. In India the figure is almost double at 74%.