U.S. job satisfaction reached an all-time high in 2022, according to a May 11 report by The Conference Board, driven by improved work-life balance, better workloads and flexible arrangements — particularly hybrid work.
Of the 26 factors measured by The Conference Board, employees with hybrid work arrangements reported the highest satisfaction, over those with remote positions and on-site jobs. While they were more concerned about job security, hybrid workers and remote workers were “significantly more satisfied” than on-site workers regarding four key elements, The Conference Board said: quality of leadership, organizational culture, potential for future growth and interest in work.
While a recession may not yet be reflected in the 2022 data, employers still must invest in employee experience to keep and attract workers even if the labor market relaxes, according to the report.
“While a mild recession in 2023 is likely to ease labor shortages and reduce labor mobility, the impact on job satisfaction may be brief and minor,” Selcuk Eren, senior economist at The Conference Board, said in a statement. “Demographic trends suggest tight labor markets are here to stay, putting the onus on employers to compete for talent."
Notably, job satisfaction was highest among job switchers, who reported higher satisfaction “in almost all aspects of their jobs,” Conference Board said. The largest changes in satisfaction were in training programs, bonus plans, mental health policies and promotion policies, indicating that these may be reasons driving employees to switch jobs.
“These results reveal that once workers are paid competitively, a strong workplace culture is the most important factor for keeping workers,” Allan Schweyer, principal researcher of human capital at The Conference Board, said in a statement. “Leaders gain the most by offering flexible, hybrid work arrangements, and by emphasizing work experience and culture factors such as interesting work, reasonable workloads, and opportunities for career growth.”