Job Satisfaction Survey: What Workers Want in 2022

What do workers want most from employers in 2022? We surveyed nearly 400 working-age adults to find out their opinions on what would make them happiest at work. Read on to discover modern workers’ job satisfaction levels, their most desired benefits and job perks, workers’ access to remote job options amid COVID-19, and the impact the pandemic has had on workers’ job outlooks. Our Job Satisfaction Survey results for 2022 are live.


2022 Job Satisfaction Survey Results Methodology

January 3 – 8, 2022, Virtual Vocations polled working-age adults to learn more about what modern workers want from employers in the new year. Our Job Satisfaction Survey was offered to Virtual Vocations members as well as to the general public, and all survey responses were submitted voluntarily.

Over the six-day survey period, we received 381 responses from professionals eager to share their opinions on job satisfaction and what they believe should be employers’ top priorities in 2022. The following Job Satisfaction Survey data targets created the framework for our questions:

Survey Data Targets

  • Overall job satisfaction.
  • Most wanted employer provided job benefits.
  • Worker access to remote jobs.
  • The impact of COVID-19.

CEO’s Statement on the 2022 Job Satisfaction Survey Results

“Last year’s Great Resignation has made employee retention a top business priority for 2022. To retain top talent in 2022, and beyond, employers must incorporate remote job options into their business models.

Why?

Employees are still willing to quit their jobs to find flexible, remote employment, and our data proves it.”

“Providing remote job options is critical for employers to remain competitive in 2022.”

Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations CEO & Co-founder

Job Satisfaction Survey: Respondent Groups Data

Survey respondents’ answers, which are detailed below, are divided into respondent groups based on their answer to our employment status question. Responses from and data relevant to Employed Workers are presented in orange; responses from and data relevant to Unemployed Workers are presented in blue.

ARE YOU CURRENTLY EMPLOYED?

Yes, I am employed.

58.16%

No, I am currently out of work.

41.84%

Overall Job Satisfaction Levels

Our first data target for the Job Satisfaction Survey was to gather opinions about overall job satisfaction levels of employed and unemployed workers. We asked the Unemployed Workers group to rate their job satisfaction level based on their experience with their most recent employer. Although out-of-work at the time of the survey, Unemployed Workers reported slightly higher levels of overall job satisfaction based on their most recent work experiences.

These totals were calculated by combining the percentage scores of job satisfaction levels rated as “very satisfied” and “somewhat satisfied” within each group.

  • 53.11% of Employed Workers are at least “somewhat satisfied” with their job.
  • 55.77% of Unemployed Workers consider themselves “somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their most recent job.

Most Wanted Employer Provided Job Benefits

In 2022, workers are looking for more reasons to accept a job offer, as well as more reasons to stay once they’ve landed the role. Job benefits and perks, in addition to good-paying salaries, are inducements employers can use to recruit and retain top talent.

Our Job Satisfaction Survey uncovered the top three employer provided benefits for each respondent group. Employed Workers and Unemployed Workers both named these three job benefits or perks as their most desired for 2022:

  • Remote work options.
  • Four-day work week with Mondays or Fridays off.
  • Stipends for technology, home office equipment, and Wi-Fi or cellular phone service.

The Impact of COVID-19

Worker health amid COVID-19 is on the minds of employed and unemployed workers. Both respondent groups stated that worker health and well-being should be the top priority of employers in 2022. Both groups also expressed concerns about employer response to establishing healthy and safe work environments during the pandemic.

  • Nearly 20% of Employed Workers said they are not confident in their employer’s ability to prioritize worker welfare.
  • 70.70% of Unemployed Workers rate a potential employer’s pandemic response as “very important” to considering a future job offer.

Worker Access to Remote Jobs

Our Job Satisfaction Survey results proved the prevalence of remote work in the 2020s. In fact, the majority of both respondent groups had worked for remote-enabled companies that allow at least some employees to work from home. Among Employed Workers, more than 40% were actively working from home at the time of the survey.

Take a look at these and other insights on worker access to remote jobs in 2022:

The Availability of Remote Work Options

  • 66.99% of Employed Workers currently work for a company that offers some degree of remote employment.
  • 53.25% of Unemployed Workers most recently worked for an employer with remote job options.

The Importance of Remote Work Access

  • 40.19% of Employed Workers already work from home, but another 40.19%, who work onsite, said they would consider leaving their current employer for a job with remote options.
  • 79.62% of Unemployed Workers say remote work options are an important consideration for them when evaluating future employment opportunities.

The Top Benefits of Working from Home

  • Employed Workers say the primary benefit of working from home is not having a commute (25.00%).
  • Unemployed Workers say the primary benefit of working from home is having more schedule control (23.72%).

EMPLOYED WORKERS: Complete Survey Responses & Data Analysis

This data set (orange) includes responses from survey participants who stated they were employed at the time of the survey. A complete list of survey questions, answers, and data analysis for Employed Workers is separated into the following sub-categories:

  • Job Satisfaction (including COVID-19 Response)
  • Top Work Benefits
  • Remote Jobs Access

Job Satisfaction Opinions from Employed Workers

  • Nearly two-thirds (65.07%) of employed workers are actively looking for a new job in 2022; only 3.35% do not plan to change roles this year.
  • 46.88% of are either dissatisfied with their job on some level or are simply glad to be employed; meanwhile, only 15.79% rate themselves as “very satisfied” with their jobs.
  • A lack of upward mobility (25.36%) is employed workers’ top concern within their existing workplaces.
  • More than half (52.63%) have concerns about or lack confidence in their employer’s ability to provide a safe work environment amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB IN 2022?

Yes.

65.07%

No. (3.35%)

3%

Not actively searching, but I would pursue a better job opportunity if one presented itself.

31.58%

ARE YOU SATISFIED WORKING FOR YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?

Very satisfied.

15.79%

Somewhat satisfied.

37.32%

I am just glad to have a job.

20.57%

Somewhat dissatisfied. 

15.31%

Very dissatisfied. 

11%

WHAT IS YOUR TOP CONCERN WITHIN YOUR EXISTING WORKPLACE?

Few opportunities for advancement.

25.36%

Uncertainty about how COVID-19 will impact the business/my job.

10.05%

Inadequate salary or benefits.

22.01%

Little to no remote work options.

13.4%

Lack of transparency from management and executives. (4.31%)

4%

Disagreeable coworkers or workplace bullies. (1.91%)

2%

Low motivation and job satisfaction.

9.09%

Not feeling heard or valued. (3.35%)

3%

Unwillingness for leaders to acknowledge and correct problems.

10.53%

ARE YOU CONFIDENT IN YOUR EMPLOYER’S ABILITY TO CONTINUE CREATING SAFE WORKING CONDITIONS THAT PRIORITIZE WORKER WELFARE AS THE PANDEMIC ENTERS ITS THIRD YEAR?

Very confident.

33.01%

Somewhat confident, but I have concerns.

33.01%

I am indifferent.

14.35%

Not confident at all.

19.62%

Top Job Benefits Opinions from Employed Workers

  • Remote work options (60.87%) are the number one benefit or perk employees want from their workplaces in 2022.
  • Employees say the health and well-being of employees (29.67%) and implementing permanent work-at-home arrangements (22.01%) should be employers’ top priorities this year.

WHICH OF THESE BENEFITS OR PERKS WOULD YOU MOST LIKE FOR YOUR EMPLOYER TO IMPLEMENT IN 2022? Please check all that apply.*

*Respondents could check any or all of these job benefits or perks, depending on their goals; therefore, combined percentage totals exceed 100%.

No-questions-asked mental health days.

35.27%

Remote work options.

60.87%

Paid parental leave.

7.25%

Continuing education assistance for earning degrees, certifications, or additional training.

37.68%

Wellness perks like healthy food delivery subscriptions or fitness plans and gym memberships.

31.4%

Virtual team-building activities like trivia contests, holiday parties, or movie streaming nights.

13.04%

Unlimited vacation time.

37.2%

Childcare or caregiving cost allowance.

9.66%

Stipends for technology, home office equipment, and Wi-Fi or cellular phone service.

44.93%

Four-day work week with Mondays or Fridays off.

57.97%

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE SHOULD BE THE TOP PRIORITY FOR EMPLOYERS IN 2022?

Employee health and well-being.

29.67%

Diversity and equality in the workplace. (3.83%)

4%

Implementing permanent work-at-home arrangements where possible.

22.01%

Retaining the best workers.

15.79%

Embracing better technology options. (2.87%)

3%

Recognizing and listening to employees.

15.79%

Improving employee training and development opportunities.

10.05%

Remote Work Access Opinions from Employed Workers

  • Approximately 67% work for remote-enabled companies offering remote arrangements.
  • 40.19% of Employed Workers already work from home.
  • Another 40.19% of Employed Workers would be willing to leave their current employers in order to pursue a job with remote options.
  • Employed Workers cite no commute (25.00%) as the primary benefit of working from home.

DOES YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER OFFER ANY KIND OF REMOTE WORK OPTIONS?

Yes.

66.99%

No.

33.01%

IF YOUR EMPLOYER DOES NOT OFFER REMOTE WORK ARRANGEMENTS, OR YOUR SPECIFIC JOB DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO WORK FROM HOME, WOULD YOU CONSIDER LEAVING YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER IF YOU FOUND A NEW JOB THAT INCLUDED REMOTE WORK OPTIONS? If you currently work remotely, please check “I already work from home.”

Yes.

40.19%

Possibly, depending on how often I was approved to work from home.

18.66%

No. (0.96%)

1%

I already work from home.

40.19%

GENERALLY SPEAKING, WHICH OF THESE DO YOU VIEW AS THE PRIMARY BENEFIT OF WORKING FROM HOME?

Better job security during COVID-19.

14.42%

More control over schedule.

21.63%

No commute.

25%

Having more time with family and friends.

10.1%

Improved productivity.

16.35%

Better management of mental or physical health.

12.5%

UNEMPLOYED WORKERS: Complete Survey Responses & Data Analysis

This data set (blue) includes responses from survey participants who stated they were unemployed at the time of the survey. A complete list of survey questions, answers, and data analysis for Unemployed Workers is separated into the following sub-categories:

  • Job Satisfaction (including COVID-19 Response)
  • Top Work Benefits
  • Remote Jobs Access

Job Satisfaction Opinions from Unemployed Workers

  • The vast majority (82.80%) of Unemployed Workers intend to look for a new job this year; only 1.27% are not actively seeking employment.
  • Unemployed Workers (12.18%) and Employed Workers (11.00%) experienced comparable levels of dissatisfaction with their most recent jobs; however, Unemployed Workers were slightly more satisfied overall.
  • In the modern workplace, Unemployed Workers are most concerned about having access to remote job options (26.75%), even ahead of COVID-19 uncertainties or not feeling personally valued at work.
  • Only 1.27% of Unemployed Workers are not worried about employer response to COVID-19; meanwhile, more than 70% say how employers address COVID-19 in the workplace is an important factor for them to consider any future job offers.

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB IN 2022?

Yes.

82.8%

No. (1.27%)

1%

Not actively searching, but I would pursue a job if a good opportunity presented itself.

15.92%

WERE YOU SATISFIED WORKING FOR YOUR MOST RECENT EMPLOYER?

Very satisfied.

22.44%

Somewhat satisfied.

33.33%

I was just glad to have a job.

18.59%

Somewhat dissatisfied.

13.46%

Very dissatisfied.

12.18%

WHAT IS YOUR TOP CONCERN WITHIN THE MODERN WORKPLACE?

Few opportunities for advancement.

7.01%

Uncertainty about how COVID-19 will impact businesses/workers.

17.83%

Inadequate salary or benefits.

11.46%

Little to no remote work options.

26.75%

Lack of transparency from management and executives.

8.28%

Disagreeable coworkers or workplace bullies. (3.18%)

3%

Low motivation and job satisfaction. (3.82%)

4%

Not feeling heard or valued.

13.38%

Unwillingness for leaders to acknowledge and correct problems.

8.28%

IF YOU WERE TO CONSIDER ACCEPTING A JOB OFFER IN 2022, HOW IMPORTANT WOULD AN EMPLOYER’S PANDEMIC RESPONSE (I.E. CREATING SAFE WORKING CONDITIONS THAT PRIORITIZE WORKER WELFARE) BE TO YOU TAKING ON THE ROLE?

Very important.

70.7%

Somewhat important.

17.2%

I am indifferent.

8.28%

Somewhat unimportant. (2.55%)

3%

Not important at all. (1.27%)

1%

Top Job Benefits Opinions from Unemployed Workers

  • Remote work options are a desired job benefit among 88.31% of Unemployed Workers, surpassing the desire for all other named benefits, including paid parental leave and unlimited vacation time.
  • Like Employed Workers, Unemployed Workers also named the health and well-being of employees (29.66%) and implementing permanent work-at-home arrangements (24.84%) as the top priorities for employers in 2022.

WHICH OF THESE BENEFITS OR PERKS WOULD YOU MOST LIKE FOR YOUR EMPLOYER TO IMPLEMENT IN 2022? Please check all that apply.*

*Respondents could check any or all of these job benefits or perks, depending on their goals; therefore, combined percentage totals exceed 100%.

No-questions-asked mental health days.

29.87%

Remote work options.

88.31%

Paid parental leave.

11.04%

Continuing education assistance for earning degrees, certifications, or additional training.

42.86%

Wellness perks like healthy food delivery subscriptions or fitness plans and gym memberships.

25.97%

Virtual team-building activities like trivia contests, holiday parties, or movie streaming nights.

14.94%

Unlimited vacation time.

29.87%

Childcare or caregiving cost allowance.

12.34%

Stipends for technology, home office equipment, and Wi-Fi or cellular phone service.

59.09%

Four-day work week with Mondays or Fridays off.

65.58%

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE SHOULD BE THE TOP PRIORITY FOR EMPLOYERS IN 2022?

Employee health and well-being.

29.66%

Diversity and equality in the workplace. (3.82%)

4%

Implementing permanent work-at-home arrangements where possible.

24.84%

Retaining the best workers.

8.92%

Embracing better technology options.

5.1%

Recognizing and listening to employees.

15.29%

Improving employee training and development opportunities.

13.38%

Remote Work Access Opinions from Unemployed Workers

  • More than 53% of Unemployed Workers said their most recent employer offered remote work options.
  • 79.62% consider remote work options important to a future job; only 3.82% do not consider remote options important to accepting a future job.
  • When it comes to work-at-home motivators, Unemployed Workers are most driven by having more control over their schedules (23.72%) and finding better job security during COVID-19 (21.15%).

DID YOUR MOST RECENT EMPLOYER OFFER ANY KIND OF REMOTE WORK OPTIONS?

Yes.

53.25%

No.

46.75%

ARE REMOTE WORK OPTIONS IMPORTANT TO YOU IN A FUTURE JOB?

Yes.

79.62%

No. (3.82%)

4%

Working from home would be fine, but it’s not a deal breaker.

16.56%

GENERALLY SPEAKING, WHICH OF THESE DO YOU VIEW AS THE PRIMARY BENEFIT OF WORKING FROM HOME?

Better job security during COVID-19.

21.15%

More control over schedule.

23.72%

No commute.

16.03%

Having more time with family and friends.

7.05%

Improved productivity.

15.38%

Better management of mental or physical health.

16.67%

About Virtual Vocations

Virtual Vocations, Inc., founded in 2007, is a private, family-owned, and 100% distributed company. Co-founded by CEO Laura Spawn and her brother, CTO Adam Stevenson, Virtual Vocations is dedicated to connecting jobseekers with legitimate remote job openings that have been screened to ensure the highest quality standards. To date, Virtual Vocations has helped more than four million jobseekers find flexible, remote work options.

In addition to managing and curating a database that, at any given time, houses more than 30,000 current, hand-screened remote job openings, Virtual Vocations offers jobseekers a number of tools to aid in their job searches, including exclusive, self-paced e-courses, career guides for popular virtual job industries, downloadable worksheets, job coaching, and resume and cover letter writing services. Virtual Vocations also releases multiple data-driven reports each year on current trends in remote work.

Contact Information for the Job Satisfaction Survey Report

Inquiries about our Job Satisfaction Survey results for 2022 can be made to Michelle Rawlings, Public Relations Specialist, at michelle (at) virtualvocations (dot) com or via phone at 1-800-379-5092, ext. 703. Please visit Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest for additional remote work content and conversations.

Image credits: Kimberly Back; Canva

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