Czech Republic: Job satisfaction of workers falls slightly

Job satisfaction in the Czech Republic has fallen, but only slightly, according to a 2014 survey. More than 1,000 people, questioned in June also felt that relationships in the workplace had worsened since 2013. They were less satisfied with their pay, too, compared with the previous year, but felt their job security had improved. 

Each month, the Public Opinion Research Centre (CVVM) carries out a representative survey called 'Our Society’ (Naše společnost) which employs a method of standardised interviews based on a sample of about 1,000 respondents aged 15 and over (in Czech). The respondents are selected by a method of quota sampling according to gender, age and educational attainment. The sample is also representative of regional variations and takes into account the size of cities.

The survey asks the same questions periodically on particular topics, enabling the researchers to monitor changing attitudes. Similar questions on work and employment were included in the survey carried out in September 2006, June 2008, June 2011 and June 2013. Questions cover the respondents’ attitudes to aspects of working life such as wage levels, workplace relationships, working time, skills development, job security, health and safety in the workplace, and job-related stress. 

In addition to the topical questionnaires, basic questions on job satisfaction have been included every year since 2003, except for 2010.

This report summarises the results of the basic annual indicators, as measured in 2014, and highlights recent developments in how respondents evaluate their working life.

Key findings

Job satisfaction

In June 2014, 61% of respondents said they were 'satisfied' overall with their job, five percentage points fewer than in 2013 (Figure 1). Although only 9% of those questioned said they were 'dissatisfied' with their jobs, this figure is the highest share of dissatisfied workers since 2003 and a year-on-year increase of two percentage points.

Figure 1: Trends in job satisfaction

Source: Čadová (2014)

However, the level of job satisfaction varied considerably depending on employment status. Those expressing the highest job satisfaction were the self-employed and managers/professionals (Figure 2). Blue-collar workers expressed the lowest level of job satisfaction. Job satisfaction increased with the level of educational attainment, but no significant gender differences were identified.

Figure 2: Job satisfaction by economic status (June 2014)

Source: Čadová (2014)

Relationships at the workplace

Respondents felt that working relationships had also worsened slightly since 2013. Almost three-quarters of interviewed workers (72%) evaluated their relationships with colleagues as 'good'; 25% considered the atmosphere at work to be 'friendly or even close' and 47% felt their relationships in the workplace were characterised by 'good cooperation' although without particular personal closeness (Figure 3). These results show that workers’ positive evaluation of work relationships had fallen by nine percentage points since June 2013. In addition, 21% of respondents felt their relationships in the workplace were either 'cold' or 'conflictual', eight percentage points higher than the previous year and the worst result since April 2004.

Figure 3: Perception of relationships in the workplace

Source: Čadová (2014) and CVVM Sociological Data Archive (SDA) for 2006 and 2008

Adequacy of remuneration

Workers generally felt that there were paid less than they deserved. Only a very small number thought they were paid more than they deserved. Some 60% of respondents in June 2014 considered their monthly wages to be lower than they ought to be getting, with 41% describing it a a 'bit lower' and 19% it as 'much lower' (Figure 4). Although the figure of 60% represents an increase of three percentage points compared with 2013, workers’ evaluation of their pay has improved, particularly since the 1990s, and has been significantly more positive over the past few years.

Figure 4: Evaluation of the adequacy of remuneration

Source: Čadová (2014) and CVVM Sociological Data Archive (SDA) for 2006 and 2008

As with the survey results on job satisfaction, self-employed people and managers/professionals were more likely than other employees to evaluate their remuneration as 'adequate', whereas those interviewees who had in manual jobs tended to evaluate their remuneration as 'less than they deserved' (Figure 5). Similarly, those respondents who had attained a higher level of educational attainment level were more likely to evaluate their remuneration as 'adequate' than those with a low level.

Figure 5: Evaluation of the adequacy of remuneration by employment status (June 2014)

Source: Čadová (2014)

Significant differences were observed between men and women in evaluating the adequacy of their pay (Figure 6). These differences reflect the gender pay gap that persists in Czech workplaces.

Figure 6: Evaluation of the adequacy of remuneration by gender (June 2014)

Source: 'Our Society', 2014

Job security

After the economic crisis, job security appeared to improve in 2013 and 2014. Although approximately 20% of workers in the 2014 survey felt it was likely that they could lose their job, 63% of respondents felt this would be ‘rather’ or ‘very’ improbable. These figures do not differ significantly from those of 2013 and represent a considerable improvement in the perception of job security compared with 2009, when 31% of the respondents feared losing their jobs.

Respondents who felt less secure tended to be those with poorer qualifications, lower earnings and aged 60 or older. Self-employed people were unsurprisingly less likely to consider their job loss as probable.

Commentary

The trend of decreasing job satisfaction revealed in the CVVM survey indicates that the economic recovery, which has been linked to  increasing employment rates, has not necessarily improved people’s working conditions. However, only about 10% of respondents were considering changing their job at the time of the survey, with 86% of respondents intending to stay put. The percentage of those who planned to move on has remained constant since 2011. In 2008, as the economic boom was ending, this percentage had reached 16%. This option is generally considered by people with lower earnings. However, more women than men expressed an intention to leave their jobs, which could confirm not only that women are paid less, but also that they have poorer career prospects and working conditions.

Reference

Čadová, N. (2014). Spokojenost se zaměstnáním a změna zaměstnání – červen 2014 [Job satisfaction and change – June 2014], press release, Public Opinion Research Centre, Prague, 28 July.

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