The SAK Good Job Index shows a significant deterioration in employee empowerment over the last two years. A good job allows employees to influence their own working arrangements.

Although the ability of employees to influence their working arrangements has significantly deteriorated in Finland over the last two years, blue collar workers feel that their jobs are safer nowadays and they are clearly less concerned about health hazards at work.

Designed to measure quality of life at work, the Good Job Index of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) indicates that a quarter of all employee are unsettled about how much say they have over their own working arrangements. Only one SAK union member in ten was similarly concerned about inadequate empowerment two years ago.

“Listening to the worker will bring the real productivity leap that we need in Finland. Lack of employee empowerment leads to higher absenteeism due to illness, and productivity suffers accordingly,” explains SAK Development Unit Director Juha Antila.

The link between quality of life at work and the rate of absence due to illness is also quite evident from the findings of the SAK Good Job Index.

More than half of all employees in good and average jobs had taken no sick leave at all during the preceding year, whereas the corresponding proportion of robustly healthy employees was only 36 per cent in jobs at the poorer end of the quality scale.

“Quality of life at work is specifically boosted when employees have effective channels of influence over things like working hours, duties and workplace methods and practices. The quality scores of workplaces also tend to be above average at workplaces with self-certification sick leave schemes.”

A slight improvement in quality of life at work

The general image of life at work has improved slightly in Finland over the last two years, with the barometer showing an average quality of life rating of 68 points, compared to 66 points two years ago.

“The most common problem still seems to be a persistent sense of rush and employers who place efficiency above all other considerations at work. Ratings in this area continue to be alarming, even though the score has improved slightly over two years,” Anttila explains.

A Good Job Empowers the Worker - SAK Good Job Index 2016