Top 10 countries where workers are thriving most, according to a new Gallup report

 The majority of our waking hours are spent at work, making it unsurprising that our jobs significantly affect our mental health and overall well-being. While work can contribute to stress, sadness, and anger, it can also provide fulfillment, purpose, and happiness. According to Gallup's 2024 State of the Global Workplace report, 34% of global survey respondents describe themselves as "thriving," while 58% are "struggling," and 8% admit to "suffering" at work. Those thriving report substantially fewer health issues and less worry, stress, sadness, loneliness, depression, and anger, while experiencing more hope, happiness, energy, interest, and respect.

The study aimed to measure employees' mental health and well-being, assessing engagement through positive experiences such as thriving and enjoyment and negative experiences like stress, anger, worry, sadness, and loneliness. The Gallup World Poll surveyed over 128,000 employed adults across more than 160 countries in 2023. 

Here are the 10 countries with the highest proportions of people who say they are thriving:

1. Finland: 83%

2. Denmark: 77%

3. Iceland: 76%

4. Netherlands: 71%

5. Sweden: 70%

6. Israel: 69%

7. Norway: 67%

8. Costa Rica: 62%

9. Belgium: 60%

10. Australia: 60%

European countries dominate the list, with seven making the top 10. The region reported the lowest percentage of employees "watching for or actively seeking a new job" and the second-lowest percentage experiencing daily sadness. However, Europe also recorded the lowest percentage of engaged employees at 13%, a region noted for its strong labor protections. Contrastingly, the U.S., with lower labor protections but higher employee engagement, reflects the "work to live" versus "live to work" cultural mindsets.

Australia and Costa Rica featured prominently, with 60% and 62% of respondents thriving and engagement levels at 21% and 34%, respectively. Israel stands out in the Middle East and North Africa region, where generally, 52% of employees report daily stress, compared to 39% in Israel.

Asia lags behind, but Vietnam leads the region with 51% of respondents saying they are thriving, followed by Taiwan (41%) and Singapore (39%). The list also includes Thailand (37%), Philippines (36%), China (36%), South Korea (34%), Malaysia (31%), Japan (29%), and Mongolia (29%).

The report notes that meaningful work and relationships lead to high daily enjoyment and low levels of negative emotions. Half of engaged employees thrive in life overall. Managers' engagement significantly impacts employee engagement, with best-practice organizations showing high manager and non-manager engagement levels.

Thus, the responsibility for fostering engaged and thriving employees falls on organizations to instill necessary labor protections and employ well-trained, engaged managers, enabling employees to flourish in both work and life.  

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