The latest National Workplace Survey has found that Irish workers are prepared to work harder to keep their jobs as businesses come under increasing pressure.

The report (Volume One | Volume Two) found that while thousands of businesses have cut their workforce in the last two years, employees are more prepared to accept poorer conditions, such as longer hours and pay cuts, than they were in the previous survey in 2003.

Almost 3,000 public and private sector employers surveyed indicated they were under pressure, while 61% have cut their workforce, compared to 32% in 2003.

Of almost 600,000 employees surveyed, over half reported a reduction in staff numbers within their organisation.

Employees appear more willing to accept change and poorer working conditions, although that is likely to reflect their reduced bargaining power in a period of high unemployment.

Overall, trade union membership continues to fall - most dramatically among under 25s - but it rose among over 40s.

The public service was more likely to implement innovative approaches such as consulting with staff, which resulted in a five-fold improvement in outcomes.

Private sector firms that did so showed a three-fold improvement, but small firms emerged as the slowest to adopt such policies.

Average earnings from March to June 2009 were €707 a week. However, men earned €808, which is a third more than women.

Employees in commercial semi-state bodies averaged the highest earnings at €809, compared to €792 in the public sector and €678 in the private sector.

One fifth reported a decline in hourly pay in the previous two years, although some of the research predated the public service pay cuts.