Majority of US employees feel engaged at work, despite one-third experiencing burnout and many wanting higher pay

December 10, 2019

A better work/life balance, improved job title and greater recognition for accomplishments topped staff engagement reasons, according to new research

San Jose, Calif.,  December 10, 2019 – Wrike, the most versatile collaborative work management platform, today released data from its new report, Employee Engagement Survey: The Productivity Gap, which studies the current state of engagement among employees in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia. The vast majority of US workers (92%) identify themselves as engaged at their current job, yet two in five (42%) say they are productive at work less than three-quarters of the time, Wrike has found. Despite a high proportion of workers saying they’re engaged in their roles, just one quarter (24%) claim to be productive over 90% of the time.

For those who do feel engaged, enjoying their role and the work they do (46%) was cited as the most common reason, while being able to collaborate well with colleagues (38%) following closely behind. Understanding how their work fits into the wider business (29%) also ranked highly. Surprisingly, less than a quarter (23%) ranked fair compensation as a primary reason for their engagement.

Feeling like their work is undervalued or unrecognized was the primary cause of disengagement, according to the study, with 43% of those currently disengaged in their roles reporting this issue. Not making enough money was the second most common reason (35%) for disengagement, and not having a way to grow their career skills was third (29%). Disengaged staff are clearly less productive, and with 54% of disengaged employees reporting feeling disengaged at work for over a year, employers must be careful they don’t lose out on productivity in the long term.

Driving greater engagement

When asked what would make them more engaged at work, nearly half (49%) of respondents cited higher pay or an improved job title. There was a tie for second, with 28% saying that better work/life balance and greater recognition for their accomplishments would each improve their engagement.

US employees said the ability to work effectively from anywhere (30%) is the number one capability that would improve their engagement. A better way to view how their work impacted company goals would improve engagement for 27% of employees, while 26% said improving the context for collaboration and having a way for managers to see their workload would make them more engaged.

“A lot of organizations talk about the customer experience, but the employee experience is equally important,” said Andrew Filev, founder and CEO at Wrike. “Most employees are engaged at work but still feel that their productivity is suffering because technology is creating barriers within their team rather than tearing them down. This trend is certainly concerning but also presents a huge opportunity for businesses to increase both engagement and productivity by unifying systems and empowering execution.”

Other key findings include:

  • Managers cited effective team collaboration as being the most important to their direct reports’ engagement (40%). Other influential factors were:
    • Good work/life balance (39%)
    • A positive work culture that promotes trust and respect (30%)
    • Recognition of accomplishments (28%)
    • Having the right tools to do the job (25%)
  • More than two in five (43%) claimed their organization had “completed” digital transformation and now uses an integrated system of software technology that streamlines workflows, communication and efficiencies. On the other hand, 18% believe their company has not yet undergone digital transformation and uses primarily slower, older tools like to-do lists, spreadsheets, meetings and emails to get work done.
  • Remote working is still yet to take off in many organizations, with half (50%) of respondents claiming they never work remotely.
    • 11% work remotely approximately one day per week
    • 15% are fully remote
    • The remaining 24% work remotely 2-4 days per week
  • Over half (58%) of companies conduct regular engagement surveys, and 51% of employees feel their companies make changes based on the results of those surveys.


Wrike commissioned Atomik Research to run an online survey of 5,000+ adults who work full-time for an organization with more than 500 employees in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Australia. Of the 5,000+ respondents, 1,004 were from the US. The research was carried out between August and September of 2019.

About Wrike

Wrike is the most powerful work management platform. Built for teams and organizations looking to collaborate, create, and exceed every day, Wrike brings everyone and all work into a single place to remove complexity, increase productivity, and free people up to focus on their most purposeful work. With unmatched power, versatility, and intuitiveness, Wrike is the only work management solution an organization will ever need to scale, optimize, and move fast in a competitive world. More than 20,000 happy customers power their future and come together in Wrike, including The Estée Lauder Companies, Hootsuite, Nielsen, Ogilvy, Siemens, and Tiffany & Co. Wrike is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information, visit