Increase in Resignation Intentions Noted, Particularly Among Managers and Young Adults

Increase in Resignation Intentions Noted, Particularly Among Managers and Young Adults

Sick working, or the practice of showing up to work even when unwell, is a trend that has been on the rise, as per a recent report from the Institute of Occupational Health.

The report, titled ‘Miten Suomi voi?’ and published on Wednesday by the Institute of Occupational Health, reveals that an increasing number of Finns have admitted to working even when feeling unfit to do so.

“Shockingly, up to 41 percent of respondents have confessed to working at least twice while sick during the previous six months,” the Occupational Health and Safety Institute disclosed in its announcement.

The Institute of Occupational Health has attributed this concerning trend to a decline in overall well-being at the workplace, as revealed by their studies.

“Working when sick often snowballs into a vicious cycle. When an individual is overwhelmed, they may choose to work while unwell to keep up with their responsibilities. However, this places even more strain on them, leading to a decline in their capacity to work and increased sick leaves,” elaborates Jari Hakanen, research professor, in the press release.

The weakest workplace well-being is reported among young adults.

Decreased well-being at work can manifest in several ways, such as diminished performance and increased resignations. The Institute of Occupational Health’s research has found that intentions to quit are particularly high among managers and young adults.

Approximately one in three individuals under the age of 36 frequently contemplate changing jobs, and about one in four people over that age share similar sentiments.

Despite young people being particularly affected by the decline in workplace well-being, those in frontline and management positions are not immune. For managers, the primary stressor is an excessive workload. One in four employees feels their workload is too much, while this number doubles to nearly one in two managers (46 percent).

Managers and supervisors feel less competent and successful, and perceive fewer learning opportunities and a diminished sense of community at work than before, according to the National Institute of Occupational Health.

“Typically, supervisors and managers are more absorbed in their work than other employees, but this difference is diminishing,” observes specialist researcher Janne Kaltiainen in the announcement.

Almost half (45 percent) of managers and supervisors admitted to working sick at least twice in the past six months, as per the study.

How Can Finland? – This research project aims to shed light on the evolution of workplace well-being and various work attitudes among Finnish employees in recent years.

The respondents of the surveys are employed Finns aged between 18–65. They were randomly selected from the population register and from the Internet panel of the Economic Survey. The most recent study examined changes in Finns’ workplace well-being during the summer of 2021, the summer of 2023, and the end of 2023. Those who participated in the summer 2023 survey were invited to partake in the end-of-year survey for 2023. Each survey received over a thousand responses.

The ‘How is Finland doing?’ research is funded by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and the Finnish Sustainable Growth Program.