Work engagement is highest in interpersonal work and administrative management work

Work engagement is connected to health, work ability and satisfaction in life, according to the data compiled from the responses to the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health’s Work engagement test. According to the results, work engagement is not an unknown phenomenon in the Finnish work life. However, there are differences between industrial sectors. High levels of work engagement can be found in the education, social welfare and health care sectors, in particular. In industrial work, the engagement level is lower.
Kuvituskuva: varhaiskasvatuksen opettaja lasten kanssa
Jari Hakanen
Jari Hakanen

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health media release 22 March 2023

Work engagement refers to a positive emotional or motivational state in which a person feels energetic, dedicated and immersed in their work. It describes experiencing work as meaningful and being enthusiastic and happy about your job.

You can use the free self-evaluation test provided by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health to measure your own work engagement. The data compiled from 60,000 responses to the test between 2017 and 2021 is now available in the Work-Life Knowledge service.

Experience of work engagement quite common

Approximately six in ten respondents experience relatively high or high levels of work engagement. They experience work engagement on average several times per week or on a daily basis. Correspondingly, about 40 per cent of them experience work engagement once a week or less frequently, which means that their level of work engagement is average or low.

“The results of the Work Engagement test indicate that work engagement is not an uncommon experience. It is experienced in all professions and, in line with previous studies, it is positively linked to health and mental health, even happiness,” says Jari Hakanen, Research Professor at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

“Women experience high levels of work engagement more often than men. Age is a factor as well; older employees, especially people aged 45 and over, experience work engagement more often than younger employees,” Hakanen continues.

However, work engagement is not equally common in all profession groups and sectors.

Level of work engagement is high in the education and social welfare sectors

The demands and responsibilities of work are also reflected in the test results as work engagement. Work engagement is experienced in interpersonal work in particular: about 71 per cent of education sector, 68 per cent of social welfare sector and 65 per cent of health care and nursing sector employees experience high levels of work engagement. The experience of high levels of work engagement is also common among management-level employees:69 per cent. Approximately two out of three (65 per cent) people working in artistic jobs also experience high levels of work engagement.

Lowest levels of work engagement are found in industrial work

In industrial work, only 37 per cent of employees experience work engagement daily or several times a week. However, it should be noted that even in industrial work more than one third experience work engagement regularly.

Experiences of work engagement are rarer in industries where only half of all employees experience high levels of engagement. These are construction work, traffic work, service and agricultural work, office work and technical or scientific work.

Work engagement is related to health and happiness

Work engagement is known to have various positive effects on, for example, physical and mental health, good work performance and productivity, a positive attitude towards the workplace and an autonomous and innovative approach to work.

According to the data, experiencing work engagement is also positively linked to one’s personal view on health, satisfaction with life and happiness.

“Work engagement promotes the meaningfulness of work and helps with facing the demands of the job. If there is not much work engagement, it should be enhanced by maintaining work resources,” says Hakanen and continues:

“For work engagement, some of the most important work resources are people being able to use their skills in diverse ways, learn new things and develop. It is about seeing the results of your efforts in your work and acting in a well-functioning work group. Service-oriented leadership and fair practices in the workplace can also be used to enhance work engagement.”

Further information

  • Jari Hakanen, Research Professor, The Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, tel. +358 (0)40 562 5433, jari.hakanen [at]

Learn more:The results of the Work Engagement test in the Work-Life Knowledge service

The Work Engagement test

  • Test (in Finnish):
  • The test, published in 2010, provides the respondent with personal feedback about their experienced work engagement in relation to the results of a comparison group.


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