Deluge of Unhappy Workers About to Hit–Research Reveals

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LOCATIONSeptember 14, 2021 – Latest research “The Deluge of Unhappy Workers” commissioned by Firstup, the leader in digital employee experience, and newly formed company resulting from the merger of SocialChorus and Dynamic Signal, has revealed that employees are unhappier than ever post pandemic. This new survey shows a mounting dissatisfaction amongst workforces across the UK, US, Germany, Benelux and the Nordics, with employees feeling undervalued, uninformed, and ununified.  The lack of employer communication was cited as a key contributing factor for unhappiness with nearly 25% of respondents agreeing that more communication from employers would result in increased productivity, and work satisfaction.

“Businesses need to do more to support their employees, to reduce attrition rates, and provide more valuable working experiences or remain responsible for the career reboot of the decade that some are calling ‘The Great Resignation of 2021’,” said Nicole Alvino, founder and CSO, Firstup. “At Firstup, we deliver a digital employee experience (DEX)  that helps companies reach, connect, and engage every worker, everywhere. This research is a clear and urgent call to action – an organization’s employees are its most valuable asset with employee satisfaction having a direct impact on the bottom line. Business,  HR and Internal Comms leaders must act now to stem this workforce dissatisfaction and engage their teams with personalized information that helps them do their best work.”  

The research highlighted a number of distinct areas of concern across the 23,105 workers surveyed with highlights including the discrepancy between the perceived value of workers’ roles within their organizations; an unstable work/life balance; and the mental health support received. Unfortunately, those based outside of the office seem to feel these complaints most keenly, with a growing tension between desk-based and deskless workers. 

  • 56% don’t feel valued in their role
  • Only 16% felt that their employer need make no changes to improve their employee experience and help them feel more valued in work
  • A mere 12% believe their organization had sufficient boundaries in place to safeguard their work/life balance
  • 38% want employers to ‘create better lines of communication between executives and employees’
  • 20% want ‘company communications and messages delivered to the places I spend my work day’. 

The data also demonstrates a clear desire for employees to feel that they contribute to the success of the organization, with 72% saying overall business goals and strategies are important to them, but shockingly, only 18% of surveyed workers expressed that they were not sure if their colleagues would notice if they were on leave.

Deskless workers are feeling more neglected in terms of career progression and work/life balance

Research highlights include: 

  • 25% of respondents felt they get more attention from their employer when they are physically at the office
  • Only 30% of deskless workers think that their employers listen to them
  • 22% of deskless workers claimed that their employers have never asked about their thoughts or feelings towards the company, compared to 19% among desk-based workers
  • 39% of desk-based workers felt that their deskless colleagues could learn from them about ‘how to communicate with colleagues and ‘how to work as a team’
  • 40% indicated that deskless workers felt those in the office could learn from them to ‘to have flexibility in their day to day’. 38% responded with ‘to think on your feet’.

“Today’s organizations need to give their people the tools and bandwidth to perform their role to the best of their ability, regardless of location,” concluded Alvino. “Taking steps to identify issues and enabling workers to feel connected to the company and their colleagues through a strong digital employee experience (DEX) will pay dividends in the long term.”

Download the global or US research. 

About Firstup

Firstup is redefining the digital employee experience to put people first and lift companies up. We make communication solutions that build authentic engagement and create two-way conversation between employees and companies. Our powerful orchestration engine connects every worker, everywhere, on any device with personalized information that helps them do their best work. That’s why 40% of Fortune 100 companies like Amazon, ABInBev, Ford and Pfizer have chosen us to power their frontline, simplify their digital workplace and unlock the potential of their workforces. Get started at

Research Fieldwork conducted by Opinion Matters. Opinion Matters surveyed 23,105 workers in the UK, USA, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, of whom 11,528 described themselves as ‘desk-based’, and 11,577 described themselves as ‘deskless’. Fieldwork was undertaken between the 9th and the 27th of July 2021. Opinion Matters abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.


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