More focus on mental health

2 January 2024


Dutch workers’ New Year’s resolutions have been announced once again. Just like last year, a better work-life balance comes top of the list. It is thereby noteworthy that seven out of ten respondents want to pay more attention to their mental health and well-being at work next year. This is even more true for women than for men. These are the most striking results of online pension provider BeFrank’s major New Year Survey, conducted among over a thousand salaried employees aged 25 and above.

BeFrank has been conducting the New Year Survey every year since 2018, identifying trends, wishes and sentiments among employees relating to work and income. Last year, concerns around personal finances were a notable feature. This level of concern has changed somewhat. In the previous survey, 27% expected to struggle to make ends meet. This year that figure is 21%. Furthermore, fewer respondents are more worried about financial matters: 40% now compared to 51% in the previous year. The appetite for cutting back on expenditure is also waning.

Greater focus on mental health

Seven in ten respondents (70%) want to pay more attention to their mental health and well-being at work in the coming year. 43% want to identify and respect their own boundaries. By saying no earlier if they are overloaded or given extra work, for example. In addition, four in ten want to take time for self-care, such as exercise, a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and relaxation techniques. “It is noteworthy that the wish in this area is more prevalent among women than men,” says Rhebergen, chief commercial officer at BeFrank. “But there is clearly a strong desire to be fit. We recognise the importance of being fit, both financially and physically. That is why we are paying attention to this as well. For example, by publishing articles and organising campaigns to make people aware of the importance of staying fit.”

Top 5 work-related New Year’s resolutions for 2024

  1. Better work-life balance
  2. Do a course or training through work
  3. Be healthier at work, e.g. take the stairs more often and snack less
  4. Have more time for socialising outside work
  5. Ask for a raise

Increased focus on sustainability

What is noteworthy is that 46% of those surveyed think it is important for employers to offer sustainable terms of employment. Half of the respondents consider it more important than 5 years ago for the organisation to be sustainable (49%). 55% of the employees also state that their employer encourages sustainable behaviour. “Sustainability clearly plays a big role for many employees. This is a fact that employers should take into account. When choosing a pension scheme, for example. You can thereby make an impact on a better world. At BeFrank, you as an employee can choose for yourself how sustainably you want to invest your pension money,” says Rhebergen.

More confident about financial future

Rhebergen identifies a positive outlook among employees: “Despite the recession and rising prices, respondents are more confident about their financial future. This also means that more respondents consciously want to set aside money for their retirement, on top of any pension accrued through their employer. Four in ten respondents plan to do this (41%). We also see that 44% of respondents want to include pension terms in salary negotiations for a new job. I’m glad about that, because it’s good that people are thinking about their income for later.”

Other findings

  • 76% of respondents find their work meaningful and 72% think that this is important
  • 33% do not intend to change jobs in 2024
  • 54% expect no raise or extra income from their employer in 2024
  • 66% plan to cut back on something in 2024. Last year, this figure was 81%.
  • 24% know exactly how much income they will have after retirement. 53% do not know this exactly.
  • 43% want to maintain their own boundaries better (e.g. in the face of extra workload). This is more common among women (49%) than men (38%)

About the survey

PanelWizard ( conducted research on behalf of BeFrank in December 2023 among over 1000 Dutch salaried employees (of whom 60.3% are full-time and 39.7% part-time), aged 25 years and older. Representative by gender, age, employment rate and level of education.