European Working Conditions Telephone Survey 2021

In 2021, Eurofound carried out a new round of fieldwork for the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS). For the first time, the respondents were contacted via computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI).

About the survey

The survey has been expanded to include over 70,000 workers in 36 European countries. This includes the EU Member States, the United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Changing the survey mode to CATI is in line with other similar surveys in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European Working Conditions Telephone Survey (EWCTS) 2021 extraordinary edition allows Eurofound to provide comparable and representative information on job quality at a time when working lives have undergone considerable changes and the capacity of people at work to contribute to the recovery is critical. However, due to the change in interviewing mode, comparison with previous editions of the survey will not be possible and the options for analysis of trends over time limited.


Eurofound’s survey partners Ipsos and its national partners conducted telephone interviews in the national languages of each country: the survey covered 54 language versions, including adaptations for national language variations. The survey complies with industry standards for ethics and EU GDPR legislation. Respondents were selected by using random direct dialling to mobile (cell) telephone numbers. Sample sizes for each country range from 1,000 to 4,200 interviews which allows for high-quality European-level estimates which are beneficial for the analysis of the thematic modules and the development of in-depth secondary analyses while also enabling reporting and analysis of job quality at national level.

The questionnaire (in all languages) and the microdata are available, as well as a number of publications, including the overview report.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Eurofound had to terminate face-to-face interviewing for the EWCS 2020 edition after only seven weeks. The questionnaire is available, but no further documentation will be published for this survey. In 2021, Eurofound carried out a methodological experiment in which respondents from the discontinued EWCS 2020 were contacted by telephone and interviewed on the basis of the same questionnaire. Although the sample size was small, it gave Eurofound the option to carry out panel analysis on the data and to demonstrate to stakeholders the value of longitudinal data for analysing change and monitoring job quality.

Further information

For further details about the EWCTS, please contact Sophia MacGoris (Tel: +353 1 204 3100, Email:

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