EWCS 2010 - Questionnaire development

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The questionnaire is based on previous rounds of the survey, updated with a view to:

  • maintain the balance between the different topics
  • retain core 'trend' questions to ensure continuity
  • identify new and emerging areas of interest

The main topics covered are: job context; working time; work intensity; physical factors; cognitive factors; psychosocial factors; health and well-being; skills, training and career prospects; work organisation; social relationships; job fulfillment; work-life balance; financial security and violence, harassment and discrimination.

New questions were introduced to enable more in-depth analysis of psychosocial risks, worker participation, precarious employment and job security, place of work, work-life balance, leadership styles and health. The questionnaire also included new questions addressed specifically to self-employed workers (e.g. financial security). In addition, the questions on household characteristics were expanded to find out more about the other members of the respondent’s household (age, gender, economic activity, working full time or part-time).

Development of the questionnaire started approximately two years before fieldwork. Firstly, Eurofound carried out literature reviews and made an internal evaluation of the previous survey. An external review also took place with key users of the previous EWCS. This was followed by a general user survey aimed at finding out more about the type and origin of the user and for what reason they used the dataset, learning which themes and topics the users were particularly interested in and gathering feedback about how satisfied they were with the EWCS and what could be improved. The user survey provided some valuable input to the preparation for the 5th EWCS and, reassuringly, confirmed user satisfaction to be high.

The draft questionnaire was then developed in close cooperation with a questionnaire development expert group. This group included members of Eurofound's Governing Board, representatives of the European Social Partners, other EU bodies (EU Commission, Eurostat, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work), international organisations (OECD, ILO), national statistical institutes and leading European experts in the field.

Subsequently, the draft questionnaire was finalised into a version which could be pre-tested. The pre-test was held in English and in French and comprised cognitive interviews and 'real life' interviews. The respondent and interviewer feedback from the pre-test helped to establish the final questionnaire.

Eurofound has produced a historical overview that maps the development of the questionnaire. It includes all the questions that were ever asked in all of the waves of the EWCS, organised by topic. For each question, it allows tracing in which wave(s) it was asked, and whether anything was changed in the phrasing or in the answering categories.

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