By Daniel Hunter

UK workers have a spring in their step, according to an annual report released today (Tuesday), which shows a significant uplift in optimism, stability and dynamism, compared to the same time last year.

The Workforce View 2014/15 - an annual barometer of the views and attitudes of more than 2,500 UK workers by ADP, a provider of Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions - suggests that the positive economic outlook reported so far in 2014/15 has quickly filtered down to employees on the frontline.

The study shows that more than three quarters of workers (77%) now feel optimistic about their next 10 years at work, up from 64% in 2013 and just 59% in 2012. Over a quarter (26%) of respondents went further, saying they are ‘very optimistic’ about the years ahead - double the figure reported just one year ago (13%).

When asked their reasons for optimism, workers say they are more confident about job security (36%), feel that career opportunities are growing again (35%) and sense the economy is improving, thereby benefiting their careers (32%). Perceptions of stability have also seen a boost, with 71% of workers now saying their future at work looks stable, up from 60% last year.

There are also signs that businesses are riding the wave of optimism through new drives for innovation, with nearly three quarters (72%) of workers describing their organisation as dynamic, compared to just 58% last year. The proportion of workers, who think their future at work will be exciting rather than dull, has also grown significantly, from 52% to 67%.

Across different age groups, those entering the workplace feel the most optimistic about their future at work; with 85% of those between the ages of 16 and 24 saying they feel this way. However, optimism drops steadily across the age groups, with 71% of people over 55 saying they feel positive about the next 10 years.

There are also contrasts across the country, with Londoners reporting the highest optimism (82%), as well as being the most likely to say their organisation is dynamic (33%) and foreseeing an exciting future (73%). The least optimistic areas of the UK are Northern Ireland (69%), Wales (73%) and Yorkshire (74%).

“This time last year, we were talking about a ‘new normal’, with many employees thinking pre-recession conditions would never return to UK PLC, at least for the short-term,” said David Foskett, Managing Director at ADP UK & Ireland.

“This year’s findings highlight just how far we’ve come since then, with employees feeling good about their careers, job security and having a positive view of their employers. The findings spell a very promising period indeed and employers must ensure they continue to engage and motivate employees in the right way, to reward their loyalty and hard work.”

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