Study: Romanians work more to increase their income


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Over half of Romanian employees (59%) are worried about the impact of economic uncertainty on their job security, according to the twentieth edition of Randstad Workmonitor. One third (33%) of workers are worried about losing their job, rising to 43% for the 45-54 age range.

The edition of Randstad Workmonitor we launch at the beginning of 2023 gives the labour market a valuable guiding tour through the market trends and employees minds. We clearly see that workers are not willing to forgo any of the expectations they became accustomed to in the pandemic, like flexible working and a good work-life balance. The winning HR strategy of this year includes creating a happy, inclusive and inspiring workplace where people feel they belong and find purpose. Cost of living support is becoming a new differentiator in the relentless search for talent.” – Mihaela Maranca, Director General, Randstad Romania

A third (29%) of workers would still rather be unemployed than unhappy in a job and over a half (54%) also said that they would quit their job if their employer did not take into account their request for better conditions. Despite the cost of living crisis and new concerns over job security, these proportions are largely unchanged from last year’s Workmonitor.

More work for a bigger income

But while they’re not willing to give up flexibility, the tough economic environment, with the cost of living rising and inflation across the world, has pushed workers to seek new sources of income, as:

● Almost half of Romanian employees (39% compared with 25% – global) have made the decision to take on or look for a second role to help manage the cost of living crisis, rising in the case of 35-44 year old employees (44%), and lower among Gen Z* (31.6%).

● Just under a quarter (23%) are planning to increase their hours at their current job. This proportion is higher for Gen Z (38%), and drops to 17% of Baby Boomers. 

● A fifth (19%) are considering resigning to find a better job to help manage the rising cost of living. More than a quarter of Gen Z are considering this route, but only around 10% of Baby Boomers said the same. 

The cost of living crisis is also having an impact on workers’ expectations of retirement, with over a quarter (30%) of baby boomers delaying their retirement due to their financial position and 62.5% of workers saying money worries are preventing them from retiring as early as they would like. Meanwhile,  while globally, 50.6% think they’ll be able to retire before 65, 69.3% of Romanians believe this. Among the factors that prevent Romanians from retiring as early as they want are: my financial position (62.5%), I feel like I need work in my life (30%), I feel my employer needs me (10.5%).

*Gen Z – 18-24 year olds, Millennials – 25-34 year olds, Baby Boomers – 55-67

Employees expect financial support from employers

In addition to action on an individual level, workers are also looking to their employers to help them manage the cost of living crisis, whether that’s through increased salaries, subsidies or pay boosts outside of salary reviews. 32.5% of Romanian workers (41% – global) would like a monthly pay boost from their employers. 32.2% (39% – global) would like an increase in salary outside of the usual cadence of annual pay review. Close to a third (28%, similar with global average percentage) would like subsidies for the cost of energy, travel or other daily expenses.

Continued demand for flexibility and purpose

The research shows that the pandemic has left a lasting legacy on workers’ demands on flexibility. Despite the economic environment, 70.8% of workers (compared to 61% global average) said that they would not accept a job if they thought it would impact their work-life balance. In fact, 98% of them rank work-life balance right after pay as the most important factors when thinking about current job and potential future employment. The vast majority (89% vs. global average – 83%) also said that flexible working hours are important in terms of what they look for in a role, over parental leave policy (73.5%) and almost as important as training and development (89.3%). More than three quarters (79.4% – Romania, 71% – global) said that flexibility in terms of location is key.

Alongside practical requests, workers still want their employers’ values and purpose to align with their own. Over half said that they would quit a job if they felt like they didn’t belong there, and this is especially true of Gen Z (61%). Two-fifths of people wouldn’t accept a job if it didn’t align with their social and environmental priorities. As an indicator of growing support for equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, 9% chose training to combat unconscious bias in the workplace among top 3 training preferences. Interestingly, only 37% would choose not to work at all if money was no object.

Romanian employees and forms of job quitting

The attitude of employees towards the topic of leaving the workplace is shown by the study though a series of interesting statistics:

Threatened to quit to negotiate better pay or working conditions


Quit a job due to low wages


Quit a job because it didn’t fit in with your personal life


Quit a job because it didn’t provide enough flexibility


Quit a job without a new role to go to


Quit a job because of a toxic workplace


“Quietly quit” a job (this is the act of doing only what your job demands and nothing more)


Quit a job because of a lack of advancement opportunities


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