The Future of Work – Denmark

The Danish working environment

Filter the map below to see how the mood of Danish workers compares to those in other markets:

Danish workers thrive in a heathy work environment

Broadly, the working dynamic in Denmark appears to be healthier than in other markets, with Danish workers among the most likely to convey a sense of contentment at work (42%) and with 31% describing their working atmosphere as calm.

On fifth of Danish workers report feeling supported (19%) and 17% feel loved, which could be conducive of high levels of engagement in their work. Just over a third report feeling productive (35%) and slightly less (33%) say they feel motivated. This is compared to around an eighth who say they are bored and overwhelmed (both 13%).

However, feelings of exhaustion (23%) and frustration (21%) are also present, although felt higher among females. Almost three in ten (29%) of the female workers surveyed report feeling exhausted compared to 18% of males. Similarly, over a quarter (27%) report feeling exhausted compared to 15% of males.

Despite this, engagement in work appears to be unaffected with females feeling almost equally as engaged in their work as their male counterparts; 34% of the female workers surveyed report feeling motivated compared to 32% of males. Similarly, 34% of females report feeling productive compared to 35% of males who say the same. Reassuringly, the findings show few cases of poor wellbeing. Just over one in ten (11%) of all the Danish workers surveyed report feeling sad with only 8% feeling anxious.

Workplace culture

More Danish workers comfortable talking to their boss about their mental health, than a pay rise

When it comes to their own, or their loved one’s wellbeing, a sizeable minority of Danish workers surveyed feel comfortable talking to their boss.

Half (48%) of Danish workers surveyed say they feel comfortable asking for time off work for mental health reasons, compared to 22% who feel uncomfortable.

Similarly, over half (56%) feel comfortable asking for time off to care for someone else compared to only 16% who feel uncomfortable.

Despite this, 19% agree that they have lied to their boss about taking time off work for mental health reasons.

Danish respondents feel moderately comfortable having career-related discussions with their boss, though less so than wellbeing. Two fifths (42%) say they feel comfortable asking their boss for a pay rise whereas a quarter (26%) say they are uncomfortable. Similarly, just over a third (36%) feel comfortable asking for a promotion, compared to 19% who feel uncomfortable doing this.

Overall, Danish respondents appear to be slightly less comfortable discussing their career goals, than they are their mental wellbeing.

Do Danish workers and employers share mutual respect?

Future of work

Two thirds say a 4-day working week would positively impact their wellbeing, but is it realistic?

There have been global conversations among governments and businesses about the possibility of reducing the 5-day working week to just 4 days, but do Danish workers think it’s realistic?

Across the sample, two thirds (66%) say reducing their working week to 4 days would positively impact their wellbeing, which is felt consistently across all ages and genders. Furthermore, almost three in five (58%) think they would be more productive working within 4 days, indicating that workers could be more engaged and produce better work if their week was shortened.

Over a third (36%) would even go as far as saying they would relocate to another country that allowed the 4-day working week if theirs didn’t, indicating the impact it could have on staff retention if it’s implemented.  

Nevertheless, despite a generally favourable view of the 4-day working week not all of the Danish respondents think it’s realistic. Almost half (46%) say they don’t know how they would fit their workload into 4 days and even more (58%) don’t think their employer would ever go for it.

Digital transformation hopes and fears

In the last year, a rapid shift toward automation in the workplace has sparked conversations around the potential benefits and challenges for businesses and their workers. Simultaneously, businesses are increasingly confronted by a looming threat of a cyberattacks or security breaches.

Compared to other markets, Danish workers are more likely to report concerns around automation and cybersecurity. Three in ten (31%) are worried their role could be replaced by automation compared to almost a quarter (23%) of the European average. Similarly, three tenths (30%) worry they’ll fall victim to a cyber-attack at work compared to 21% across all European markets.

Despite notable concerns among the Danish workers, there are signs of optimism when it comes to advanced technologies. When thinking about how artificial intelligence will impact their organisation, almost two fifths (38%) of Danish workers think it will be a good thing overall.

Click here to find out more about the Future of Work in other countries.