HR Strange But True!
May 17, 2007

Mon dieu! A study has found that France has the world's whiniest workers, but before you start making jokes about the French finally winning at something, take a look at where U.S. workers ranked.

FDS International, a company in the United Kingdom that conducts market research, recently published the results of its study of work attitudes among nearly 14,000 employees in 23 countries.

According to the study, the 11 countries with the most demanding--or whiniest--workers are:

1. France
2. United Kingdom (tie)
2. Sweden (tie)
4. United States
5. Australia (tie)
5. Portugal (tie)
7. Canada(tie)
7. Greece(tie)
9. Poland
10. Germany (tie)
10. Spain (tie)

The firm created the ranking by looking at the percentage of workers unhappy with pay, actual income relative to cost of living, percentage of workers who feel work impinges on private life, and average weekly working hours.

You can find the least whiney workers in Ireland, according to the study. Workers in the Netherlands and Thailand are also among the least whiney.

The Netherlands has workers with the highest morale, the study found. Irish and Thai workers have the second highest morale. Japanese workers had the lowest.

The study found that workers in the United Kingdom were among the most demanding when it came to holidays. Thirty-seven percent of British workers complained about a lack of holidays--even though they enjoy an average of 33.5 days in leave and public holidays per year. By contrast, only 13 percent of workers in Ireland whine about the amount of holidays, despite receiving fewer of them.

Russian workers were most likely to complain about their pay (61 percent). By comparison, 43 percent of Chinese workers, 40 percent of British workers, and 38 percent of American workers expressed dissatisfaction with their compensation. Workers in Ireland and the Netherlands were least likely to complain about their pay.

"After the French, British employees are the most likely to be dissatisfied with their work situation, despite their relative good fortune," says Charlotte Cornish, managing director of FDS . 'It's also interesting to note that after France, Britain, and Sweden, the world's biggest workplace whiners are Americans, despite their having by far the highest levels of income relative to their cost of living. Compare them to Thai workers: while real levels of income are more eight times higher in the United States, more workers in the US feel their pay is a problem than in Thailand ."

Source: FDS International

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