• 41,1% of Greek employees expect a monthly cost of living pay boost.  
  • More than half of employees (56,4%) wouldn’t accept a position that negatively affects their work-life balance.
  • Increased cost of living impacts workers’ attitudes towards retirement, with many putting it off.


The latest Workmonitor survey of Randstad, the global leader in the HR services industry, has captured employee behavior and expectations in the landscape of the 'new normal' when increased cost of living and the ongoing pressures of the energy crisis makes the economic life of people difficult. Employees worldwide have already reshaped their attitudes and needs for the better, with fixed demands on their employers and work to encourage their career movement.

Randstad’s Workmonitor for 2023 surveyed 35,000 workers across 34 markets and was conducted between 18–30 October 2022, while the participation exceeded 1000 in Greece, aged 18-67. The survey data showed that while more than 50% of employees worry about the impact of job insecurity, they are not willing to forgo any of the expectations they became accustomed to during the pandemic. Remarkably, 94% of employees consider the importance of work-life balance, while 45,5% would still rather be unemployed than unhappy in a job vacancy.

work-life balance 

Research findings make it clear that employee behavior has a new, stable attitude, especially for Gen Z, who recently entered the labor market and has the highest expectations for work-life balance. It’s remarkable that more than half of employees (56,4%), who took the survey, wouldn’t accept a job that negatively affects their personal life, with participants under 45 years old advocating a happier life. This trend exists along with what was already reported in Randstad’s survey in 2022, during the pandemic, which reflected that younger employees feel empowered being part of an organization whose values align with theirs.

Although the importance of work is excessively high for 82,2% of employees, for those that are choosing to leave their current employer, data shows that better working conditions, including leaving a toxic workplace (41%) or lacking advancement opportunities (29%) continue to be the primary drivers of their decision-making. Despite the general economic instability and the increased cost of living, nearly one-third of Greek employees had quit a job because it didn’t fit in with their personal life. Regarding employees’ commitment, their dissatisfaction leads them to “quietly quit” (27%), a recent phenomenon in which employees perform only the bare minimum in their jobs. In Greece, employees aged 25-34 are most likely to quit a job that prevented them from enjoying their life (61%), while older workers (aged 55–67) are least likely, with 35% (globally 40%).

increasing demand for work flexibility

As reflected in the findings of the Workmonitor survey, work flexibility remains a high demand and potential competitive advantage for businesses, with 78% of employees seeking the ability to choose the work location and 84% of working hours. Across age groups, although flexible working models are universally applicable, higher acceptance rates among younger workers are shown, with 85% in ages 18-24 and 89% in ages 35-44 claiming that freedom in working hours is a key factor. Women value work flexibility more than men regarding hours (87% vs 80%) and location (83% vs 72%).

Even in cases where employers have mandated a return to the office, employees are voicing a strong desire to retain greater flexibility. Around two-thirds of those surveyed said they wouldn’t accept a job if it didn’t offer accommodating hours (61%) or remote/hybrid arrangements (31%). 27% of Greek employees have even quit a role that didn’t provide the preferred flexibility.

value alignment and the feeling of belonging

Equally important as work-life balance and work flexibility is the need for employees to be integral members of an organization with clear social and environmental commitment. Added value for employees is the sense of belonging and collegiality, which seem significant for Millennials and Gen Z. In fact, despite economic instability and the increased cost of living, half of the employees would prefer to resign from a job that doesn’t fulfill them.

According to Workmonitor’s survey results, Millennials and Gen Z express consistent expectations of social justice, sustainability, and change. Almost 44% of employees are searching for job vacancies to align with their values and employers who share the same environmental and social concerns. Recognizing the importance of a sense of purpose in employees’ lives (56,8%), it is of utmost importance to 84,4% that employers have a clear purpose and transparency (77,1% globally).


the role of employers

Although employees are not willing to give up flexibility at work and want to feel secure, the rapidly increasing cost of living impacts their expectations. Many addressed employers for financial support and openly expressed their requests to help them manage their cost of living.

In particular, 41,1% expect a monthly cost 0f living pay boost, 29,5%, and most employees under 35 years old seek an increase in salary outside of the usual cadence of annual pay reviews, and 24,4% require greater involvement of employers through subsidies, mainly regarding the cost of energy, with Baby Boomers expressing a high demand for these privileges.

new sources of income

During an increasing economic uncertainty, employees are naturally concerned about the impact of the global economy on their livelihoods (67%), while more than half (51%) worry about losing their jobs. Although job security is a priority for most responders (92,9%), Greek employees seek new sources of income to cope with the rising cost of living.

Specifically, 22% of Greek workers intend to increase working hours at their current job, while 40% have decided to look for a second role to help manage the cost-of-living crisis. Gen Z employees are more likely to take both actions, with 30% wanting to take on a second work role and 32% looking to increase working hours. Both rates are higher than those aged 55-67, with 17% and 13%, respectively. Notably, 25% of employees have changed or plan to change jobs and move to a company with better financial rewards.

greek employees extend their retirement

Undeniably, the cost-of-living crisis is also having an impact on workers’ retirement expectations, with 16% of Baby boomers saying that they plan to delay their retirement as they want to contribute to rising living costs and 61% expressing their concern about a drop in their income as a result of retirement.

The demanding cost of living and the financial return of work is discouraging factors to workers' decision to delay their retirement. Although the results of last year's Workmonitor survey had recorded that most workers expressed the belief that they would retire before the age of 65, the current survey reveals a markedly different perspective making clear that financial uncertainty is a central factor in this change. Globally, one in two respondents says they will be able to retire before 65 years old, while only 44.2% in Greece responded positively to the same question.

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Worldwide, talent scarcity and retention are current issues, with employers taking initiatives for employees’ support. In a transitioning era with significant changes at the socio-economic level, human resources strongly express their need for job security and a flexible work environment while maintaining the work-life balance as a vital issue. Employers, from their spectrum, need to have as their ultimate ambition the creation of a happy, inclusive, and inspiring workplace where people feel they belong. Organizations can guarantee that they will become employers of choice rather than necessity only through practices that embrace empathy and the needs of their entire workforce.

Leigh Ostergard
CEO of Randstad Hellas

You can see the Randstad Workmonitor survey here 

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 study is conducted online among people aged 18–67, employed for at least 24 hours per week (minimum 90%) or sole trader or unemployed but considering looking for a job in the future. Minimum sample size is 500 interviews per market. The Dynata panel is used for sampling purposes. This survey was conducted between October 18th — October 30th, 2022 in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.