France


French office workers less satisfied than European peers

by Ray Clancy on January 21, 2015

France is one of the most popular countries in Europe for expats but it would seem that working in a French office is not all it’s cracked up to be.

A survey has found that French workers are the least satisfied of six major European countries with those working in the Netherlands the most satisfied.

UKstudyFRANCE

Just 78% of French office workers said they were satisfied with their work environment

The annual study published by Actineo, a French research institute, found that in the Netherlands 91% of workers said they were satisfied with their work environment followed by 88% in both Germany and the UK, 84% in Spain, 83% in Sweden and just 78% in France.

And when it comes to being able to relax at work the French came last, with just 49% saying they are satisfied with being able to take a breather, compared with 72% in the Netherlands and 74% in the UK.

Overall, more than 75% of people work in company offices. Figures in the UK and Sweden are somewhat lower at 65% and 54%, respectively. The research showed that sharing office space between more than four people is on the rise in Europe.

Almost three quarters of UK employees work in a shared office space, compared to 55% in France and Germany. The study suggests Europeans are very concerned with quality of life at work. The Dutch and French say good relationships with colleagues are at the top their list of preferences.

The Germans value work space the most, but with overall differences in satisfaction quite varied, the institute said the answer to a happy workforce could lie with the layout of work space. It argued that more open office space leads to greater satisfaction.

However, it also depends on the quality of the workspace. Some 84% of British workers said they were happy with the level of noise at work, along with 82% in the Netherlands but just 65% in France. Likewise, while 77% of UK and Spanish workers were satisfied with the air quality, this fell to 68% in France.

France was also bottom of the heap when it came to office lighting. At the top end, some 90% of Dutch workers were satisfied, followed by 86% of Spanish workers, 85% of German and British workers, 84% of Swedes and 75% of French workers. When it comes to office furniture, chairs in particular, the French were again the least satisfied.

The survey also found that most workers are not happy with the temperature in their office. Some 54% of Dutch and 52% of Spanish workers were satisfied, but in Germany it was only 38%, in France 37%, in the UK 34% and in Sweden 33%.

In the UK and Spain, quality of working life comes first for office workers while in Germany and France it is the value and interest of the work.

It found that Germany and France have more traditional working layouts, with these two countries having fewer shared and informal areas in their offices.

Yet France has the highest number of office workers in the countries studied with 77% working in an office everyday compared with 71% in Spain, 70% in Germany and the Netherlands, 65% in the UK and 54% in Sweden.

 

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