UK employees are amongst the least loyal in Europe, according to new research by ADP, and rather than committing to a company with a view to the long haul, UK workers would much rather consider themselves to be footloose and fancy freeThe pan-European study found that nearly half of UK workers (47 percent) are planning to change jobs in less than three years, compared to a third (34 percent) of European employees.

UK employees are also the least likely to see a long term future with their employer. Just 17 percent want to spend the rest of their career in their present organisation, whilst 40 percent of German workers see this as an option.

The job market is now becoming more competitive as employees are looking for opportunities outside of their home country. However, attitudes towards foreign talent are generally positive. 69 percent of UK employees don’t see foreign talent entering the local job market as a threat.

Even though companies may benefit from a global talent pool, losing local workforce is causing a headache for some countries. Employees in Spain (49 percent), Italy (47 percent), and Poland (39 percent) are particularly concerned about a talent drain to other countries, prompted, particularity in the case of Spain and Italy, by the economic strife in those two nations and lack of opportunity.

The renewed interest to explore the job market reflects employee attitudes towards the economy. 81 percent of UK employees say they are now optimistic about the future of work, up from 77 percent in 2014 and just 64 percent in 2013. The research also shows that UK workers are more confident about the economy than the rest of Europe, where optimism stands at 77 percent. Italian employees stand in stark contrast. They are the least upbeat about their economic situation and are most likely to say the future looks unpredictable (61 percent).

The strong level of optimism reflects the UK’s sustained position in the global economy. UK employees are the most confident in their organisation’ ability to compete for business and talent internationally (58 percent in the UK, compared to 49 percent in Germany). Across Europe, the average currently stands at 50 percent.