FSD3727 Finnish Working Life Barometer 2021

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  • Statistics Finland. Interview and Survey Services
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment


career development, employees, employment, employment opportunities, expectation, flexible working time, hours of work, job satisfaction, occupational life, telework, wages, working conditions, workloads, workplace bullying


The annual survey studied employee opinion on the quality of working life in Finland. Main themes included organisation of work, development opportunities and flexibility, learning and training at work, wages, workplace bullying, capacity to work, and changes in working life. Questions in the barometer have mainly remained the same each year. The questionnaire, target population and collection method of the survey were changed for the 2021 collection round.

First, the respondents were asked about the number of people employed at their workplace, changes in the number of staff, their primary place of work, and their membership of trade unions and unemployment funds. Satisfaction in the working environment was charted with questions about openness, encouragement, trust and equality in the workplace, and opportunities for employees to develop and apply new ideas. Further questions covered measures taken to improve employees' capacity to work and safety of work environment. The respondents were asked whether their place of work supported its employees in learning and trying new things, and whether they had taken part in job-related training in the last 12 months and received a salary during that time. Participation in job-related training through different methods (e.g. online, with a mentor, self-study) and opportunities to develop skills during work hours were also surveyed.

The next set of questions focused on flexible working time arrangements at the workplace, pay and bonus systems, satisfaction with the pay level, and digital tools as part of work. Autonomy at work was surveyed by asking about influence over own work tasks and working pace, over the distribution of work in the workplace, and about working to a tight schedule. Remote work was investigated with questions on whether the respondents had worked remotely during the past 12 months, whether they had a quiet place where they could work remotely, whether remote work was a productive way for them to work, and whether they could focus better while working remotely than when working at the office. The use of digital tools, virtual workspaces, and social media services as part of work tasks was also charted. Additionally, discrimination at work based on factors such as ethnic group, age, gender, sexual orientation, and health status was explored. Incidents of bullying, sexual harassment and violence at work were surveyed.

One set of questions investigated the employees' perceived workload, capacity to work, estimates of own mental and physical capacity to work, and sickness absences. Additionally, the respondents' experiences of stress, mental exhaustion, inability to focus, togetherness and excitement related to work were surveyed. The respondents were asked how likely they thought it was that they would be temporarily laid off or made redundant. Finally, views were probed on the respondents' likelihood of getting an equal job if they became unemployed and what they would do if they became unemployed (e.g. apply for a new job in the same field, apply for a new job in a different field, become self-employed, get a job abroad).

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's year of birth, age, gender, status in employment, employer type, industry of employment, type of contract, and weekly working hours.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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