French workers are the world’s biggest whiners, according to a study published Monday which said the Irish complain least about their lot.
Britons come second to their Gallic cousins in the moaning stakes, followed by Sweden, the United States and Australia. Japanese workers have the lowest morale, but don’t complain so much.
The lowest levels of whining were found in the Netherlands, Thailand and Ireland, according to the study by the FDS research group.
"It is interesting to note that after France, Britain and Sweden, the world’s biggest workplace whingers are Americans, despite their having by far the highest levels of income," said FDS chief Charlotte Cornish.
"Compare them to Thai workers: while real levels of income are more than eight times higher in the States, more workers in the US feel their pay is a problem than in Thailand," she added.
The study, entitled "What Workers Want, A Worldwide Study of Attitudes to Work and Work-Life Balance", draws on data from 14,000 employees in 23 countries.
They were notably asked about their satisfaction with issues including pay levels and their work-life balance, as well as average working hours.
In terms of worker morale, Dutch workers are the happiest, followed by their Thai and Irish counterparts. The lowest morale of all is found in Japan, followed by Germany, said the study.
The study’s authors noted that rightwing French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy shouldn’t expect things to become happier anytime soon, as he prepares to shake up notoriously strike-prone France.
"The UK and US, with their marked competitive individualism and unequal wealth distribution, both appear towards the top of the world’s list of whingiest workers," said Cornish.
"The French come out on top — it seems unlikely that Nicolas Sarkozy’s election and the likely shift to more Anglo-Saxon economic practices will make the workers in France any more happy with their lot," she added.