What makes a happy workplace?

Date: 20 March 2019

Close up of male colleagues cooperating in coworking office space talking laughing togetherA new study of workplaces has found that being appreciated is significantly more important to employees than money.

The Happy Office Survey 2019, conducted by Peldon Rose, has been published to coincide with International Day of Happiness on 20 March.

The findings of the survey show that appreciation is key to the happiness of UK employees with 80% saying that feeling appreciated is important to their happiness at work - ahead of salary (58%) and feeling trusted (55%).

However, the survey also reveals there is work to be done to boost workplace happiness, as only 45% of employees say they actually feel appreciated and just two-thirds (67%) say they are happy at work. Employers should take note, says the report, as a recent study from The University of Warwick has shown that a happy worker is 12% more productive than an unhappy worker.

The Peldon Rose survey has investigated other factors at work that contribute to happiness. The workplace environment is important to half (49%) of respondents but only a quarter (25%) say their current work environment is a good one. Other workplace factors valued by employees are:

  • Technology and having the right tools for the job (79%);
  • Having friendships at work (63%);
  • Good company culture (48%);
  • Flexible working (43%);
  • Doing rewarding work (36%).

However, the survey finds that many of these aspects of the workplace are not meeting expectations. Only 55% of respondents say they currently have the right tools and technology to do the job properly and only 22% of those polled say they have a good company culture.

Happiness levels differ significantly between sectors, according to the Happy Office Survey. Construction and manufacturing are the happiest sectors with 78% of employees in these sectors saying they are happy at work. This is followed by media and communications (72%) and hospitality and leisure (72%).

At the bottom of the league table is retail, where only 54% of retail workers say they are happy at work, below IT and telecoms (66%) and education (67%).

Written by Rachel Miller.

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