demand for work-life balance sends more than half of global workers on a job hunt

  • Over two thirds (67%) of global workers feel empowered to make changes to their work-life balance.
  • This sense of clarity has sent more than half (56%) on a job hunt - where a quarter (26%) recently changed jobs and 30% are actively looking.  
  • Workers are taking advantage of the new seller’s labor market following a pandemic plateau — where nearly two-thirds (60%) globally weren’t promoted and less than a fifth (17%) received a pay raise after being promoted.
  • Randstad calls on employers to step up to the challenge to meet the Great Enlightenment mindset.

Randstad’s latest Workmonitor — one of the largest global workforce surveys of its kind, with 27,000 participants across 34 markets — finds that more than half (56%) of global workers are on a job hunt, with 30% actively looking and a quarter (26%) recently changing jobs. These figures show that the post-pandemic recovery is prompting workers to reconsider what they want out of their lives and careers — a movement that Randstad brands as the ‘Great Enlightenment.’

Twice a year, the Workmonitor study takes a litmus test on the views of the global workforce. Its latest iteration, launching today, has found that many workers are feeling undervalued, with nearly two-thirds (60%) across the globe having not been promoted and fewer than a fifth (17%) receiving an increase in their salary after being promoted.

For workers across the globe, the pandemic has provided a new sense of clarity over their personal and professional lives. ‘The Great Enlightenment’ and post-pandemic recovery have given them the confidence to act on it. The research finds that:

  • Half (49%) say they are more stressed since the pandemic and will need to make changes to their work life.
  • Over two-thirds (67%) feel empowered by the pandemic to make changes to their work-life balance.
  • Three-quarters (72%) have more clarity over professional goals since the pandemic.
  • Three-quarters (76%) want more flexibility in their job and career as a result of the pandemic.

As they’ve watched those around them join the Great Resignation, half (51%) of workers say they are considering career changes. Most (54%) also feel undervalued and plan to look for another job with better pay and benefits. This is especially true for younger workers, with two-thirds (62%) of those age 25 to 34 feeling this.

Jacques van den Broek, CEO of Randstad said: “The pandemic has changed the game. This data shows workers across the globe are more self-aware, know what they want and are acting on it. And the mood music has shifted for them. The employment market has changed from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market, and workers are taking advantage.

“Employers and policymakers should see this as a moment to take a step back and reevaluate how they will deliver on this new social contract. For employers, offering a competitive wage is simply table stakes. They must consider how to bolster the benefits package — offering more flexibility or remote working —  and whether employees can make work fit around their personal and family life. During this time of exceptional workforce fluidity, this is a crucial moment to step up to the challenge and meet the new expectations of employees in the war for talent.”

The latest data shows that there continues to be a high level of interest in career change. In the Asia-Pacific region, nearly 40% say they are looking for a new job, while only one-quarter are doing so in northwestern Europe. Workers in Asia Pacific also changed jobs at a higher rate than any other region. Those in northwestern Europe, similarly, showed the least amount of movement in the second half of 2021.

The Workmonitor study looked at the reasons behind individuals across the globe seeking change. The issue of stress is the most common for those in the Asia-Pacific region, with two-thirds (63%) feeling this way, and stress is also motivating change for those in Latin America (53%). This is compared to only 2 in 5 (39%) of respondents in northwestern Europe.

Workers are also seeking more flexibility, with a large proportion (85%) of those in the Asia-Pacific region wanting more job and career flexibility as a result of the pandemic, along with those in Latin America (87%). This is compared to just 65% in northwestern Europe. On making changes to work-life balance, a similar pattern is seen. Those in Asia Pacific and Latin America feel most empowered and workers in northwestern Europe least so.

Table showing regional results of the Randstad workmonitor 2022
Table showing regional results of the Randstad workmonitor 2022

You can read more detailed insights in the full report:

about the randstad workmonitor

The Randstad Workmonitor was launched in 2003 and now covers 34 markets around the world. The study encompasses Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas. The Randstad Workmonitor is published twice a year, making both local and global trends in mobility visible over time. In addition to the rotating set of themed questions, the survey also addresses job satisfaction, captures the likelihood of an employee changing jobs within the next six months, and provides a comprehensive understanding of sentiments and trends in the job market. The study is conducted online among employees age 18 to 65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed). Minimum sample size is 800 interviews per market. The Dynata panel is used for sampling purposes.

The second full survey of 2021 was conducted in 34 markets from August 23 to September 12, 2021.

about randstad

Randstad is the world’s largest talent company and a partner of choice to clients. We are committed to providing equitable opportunities to people from all backgrounds and help them remain relevant in the rapidly changing world of work. We have a deep understanding of the labor market and help our clients to create the high-quality, diverse and agile workforces they need to succeed. Our 46,000 employees around the world make a positive impact on society by helping people to realize their true potential throughout their working life. 

Randstad was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands. In 2022, in our 39 markets, we helped more than 2 million people find a job that feels good and advised over 230,000 clients on their talent needs. We generated revenue of €27.6 billion. Randstad N.V. is listed on the Euronext Amsterdam. For more information, see

for more information

Luke Akal
+31 61 605 9460