Half of us are looking for a new job this year

Since 2014 over 12,000 people have told us what they think and feel about work in our annual job exodus survey.

We’ve heard when people are on the move, and we’ve heard what it is that makes people stay in their organisations, as well as what it is we need to be doing to make work better

This year you’ve told us that more than half of you will be looking for a new job in 2020 and 24% are unhappy at work, a 10% increase on last year,14%

Key Statistics:

People who are unhappy at work
People who are looking for better work life balance
People who are stressed at work
People who lose sleep over work

CEO Summary:

We’ve been doing job exodus research since 2014. I’m always excited to get this research back and hear directly from people about what’s working, what’s not and what would make work better.

Hearing what people want at the beginning of the year lets us set the scene for what we want beyond what we’ve got.

 It’s the same thing I hear from people I talk to everywhere from conference tables to dinner tables. People need more out of work than they’re getting. They are telling us they’re enjoying the work they do but that they’re still looking for a new job, because something is missing.

And 6 years into this research and we’re still hearing that people want to be told ‘thank you’.

We’re working with our community to share examples of how companies are getting it right, sharing blogs and articles. Last year we launched our free platform, Jumpstart, so that smaller or newer companies can make sure they’re putting their people and culture front and centre as they grow.

With so many people unhappy at work, it’s not surprising that you’re taking that stress home with you. I know I did in 2019.

We often talk about a ‘top-down approach’ and needing senior team members to get involved in wellbeing programmes.  Really, we’re asking the people with the most power to use their power to show their vulnerability and take the time to care for their own health. Because that gives the rest of us permission to do the same.

We all need to be concerned for ourselves and the people we work with. As managers and leaders, we need to consider workloads and listen when we’re told that being valued, flexibility and a good work-life balance are all things that people need from their work.

The results from this research give us the opportunity and permission to turn to our colleagues, ask what they need and speak up and saying what we need for ourselves.

Together we can make work better!

Paul Devoy, CEO Investors in People

Trend Analysis:

Have you been stressed at work in the last 12 months?
Women 80%
Men 69%
Non-binary 80%
16 - 24 75%
25 - 34 80%
35 - 44 77%
45 - 54 73%
55+ 66%

What three things do you like the most about your work?

Work life balance...
North-East 40%
East of England 34%
Greater London 29%
East Midlands 37%
West Midlands 33%
North West 30%
Northern Ireland 30%
Scotland 28%
South East 31%
South West 37%
Wales 26%
Yorkshire and the Humber 37%

When looking for a new employer, what are the most important qualities that you look for?

A friendly workplace...
Architecture, Engineering & Building 27%
Arts & Culture 27%
Education 36%
Finance 23%
Healthcare 38%
HR 31%
IT & Telecoms 20%
Legal 22%
Manufacturing & Utilities 30%
Retail, Catering & Leisure 38%
Sales, Media & Marketing 24%
Travel & Transport 34%
Other 31%
Flexible working...
2020 29%
2019 17%


 We’re 10% less happy at work than we were last year.

That means that in 2020, 1 in 4 people are unhappy at work. 2 in 3 people feel like work stress follows them home and  we’re losing sleep as a result.

And it’s not only at the end of the workday that we’re stressed. With 3 out of 4 people saying they get the Sunday night blues, it shouldn’t be a surprise that 1 in 2 of us are looking for a new job this year and that 1 in 5 feel that work is negatively impacting our health.

And when we’re looking for a new job, while a pay rise is important, 2 in 3 of us are looking for a better work life balance and 1 in 5 are looking for friendly colleagues. 

And employers can make make their people happier and make work better by improving flexibility, which nearly 1 in 3 people told us was a priority at work.

Futher reading:

5 ways to reduce stress at work

After hearing that 3 in 4 people are stressed at work, that stress follows them home. We asked some of our finalists for the wellbeing award at our Investors in People awards 2019 to find out what they’re doing to reduce stress and create a culture that brings their people together and fights this stress epidemic. We’ve pulled together 5 of the best ways to reduce stress in your company in 2020.

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