What keeps us smiling in the workplace?
The average British worker rates their happiness as just under 7/10, according to the 2018 Happiness Survey by One4all rewards.
Workers in one of the oldest age brackets – aged 55 and over – were happier than any other age group, scoring 6.91, while men rated their happiness at work on average as higher than women. The data revealed that the marketing, communications and advertising industry currently boasts the happiest employees – with staff in this sector rating their happiness as a glowing 8.13 out of 10.
Workers within the smallest of UK companies – micro businesses, employing less than four members of staff – reported being happier than those at companies of any other size. While the average UK employee rates their morale at work as 6.81 out of 10, just 13% scored fewer than 5 out 10 and in fact, almost 1 in 4 (22%) rated their happiness as 8 out of 10 – suggesting, on the whole the British workforce is pretty positive about work.
Unsurprisingly, respondents felt it was the remuneration they receive for the work they do – such as salary and wages – that plays the most important (38%) role in their happiness. Softer factors such as the relationships workers have with their colleagues (37%) and the nature of the work that they do (34%) followed in second and third place.
“It is interesting to see how happiness levels vary between the different demographics,” said Alan Smith, UK MD of One4all rewards. “example, those aged 55 and over are happier than any other age group – but interestingly they are also amongst the most likely to believe that the nature of the work they do plays the most key role in their morale at work – putting more emphasis on this than salary, bonuses, annual leave or anything more tangible.”
Flexible working – such as the ability to work from home or leave early – and the relationships they have with management completed the top five aspects that have the biggest impact on UK employees’ happiness at work.
“Clearly, the UK workforce recognises that money is not everything,” continues Smith. “but one size definitely doesn’t fit all. In order to maintain or significantly improve morale, it is important for employers to take note of what drives the different kinds of individuals in their workforce.”