During the last hundred years the working culture as well as the meaning of work has significantly changed for people. Work is meant not merely for satisfying people’s main needs, but also a challenge for development and satisfaction through self-realisation.
Work life quality statistics reflect the part of people’s life quality, which is influenced by work, emphasising how much the real work life situation meets the people’s expectations. Thus the concept of work life quality covers the satisfaction with work, occupational safety and health, work organisation and working time, combining working and family life, employees’ social protection and rights, incomes, social dialogue between employers and employees, as well as improving employees’ skills and knowledge.
Work life quality can be treated from different aspects: from the point of view of the society (it is essential to offer health sparing jobs to as many persons as possible, to ensure high employment and level of productivity), from the point of view of the employer (companies wish to find employees with suitable skills), from the individual point of view (people need jobs, which are safe, reliable, interesting and enable social activities as well as satisfactory family life besides jobs).
Statistical database provides under the subject area of work life quality statistics on employers’ and employees’ satisfaction, working time, work organisation, occupational health and labour market gaps. The topic of work life quality in the database is also related to labour market, time use and wages and salaries statistics data.
The subject area of employers’ and employees’ satisfaction provides data on general satisfaction with work as well as from different aspects of labour market (e.g. satisfaction with possibilities to gain new skills and knowledge at work, satisfaction with earnings, satisfaction with possibilities to express their opinion about forming working conditions).
The subject area of working time presents data on working time organisation of employees and organisations, as well as on working time flexibility and overtime work.
The subject area of work organisation discusses many topics, such as types of employment contracts, collective agreements, involving employees in work management of the organisation, possibilities of self-improvement at work and employees’ feeling of security to maintain their jobs. There are also data on the working relationship quality and discrimination at work.
Occupational health includes information about the impact of work on people’s health, and about health promoting activities. Working environment, as well as the way of working are important factors here. Workrooms, machinery and tools, substances and materials being used and/or working methods may be risk factors at work. The data of the Work Life Survey have been published in this section; the topics under discussion are occupational health, i.e. attitudes towards occupational health, health risks and health promoting activities at work, as well as accidents at work and health problems related to work.
Labour market gaps statistics reflect the unemployment and employment of socio-economic groups. With the aim of bringing out the position of different population groups, especially the position of risk groups on the labour market, statistics discuss employment differences by sex, age, place of residence, education, citizenship and ethnic nationality. The information on unequal position of different groups serves as a basis for improving integration into the labour market and reducing the possible discrimination and inequality.
The statistics provided in the work life quality subject area are based to a great extent on the data of the Work Life Survey. Up to now, Statistics Estonia has conducted only once in 2009 (the next survey is planned for the year 2014). Previously the similar data have been collected with working life barometers co-ordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs in 1999, 2002 and 2005. The indicators of labour market gaps are based on the data of the Labour Force Survey of Statistics Estonia.