Only half of people say they are productive at work

Junior members of the workforce are most likely to be disengaged, demotivated and lacklustre about work according to a survey on happiness in the UK workplace from HR consultancy Personal Group. Based on a survey of 800 people benchmarked against a larger database of 41,000 from the University of Warwick, the survey claims that 48 percent of employees are not often happy at work and that almost one in five are rarely or never happy at work. The report suggests that it is more junior employees who are not only less keen to get to work in the morning but are also unhappier at work when compared to senior managers, directors and those who are self-employed. Similarly,  when asked whether they feel enthusiastic about their job, directors and self-employed are the most passionate, reporting 70 percent and 76 percent respectively. Team leaders and frontline employees are significantly less enthusiastic, with 30 percent of the latter saying that they never feel enthusiastic at work.

Millennials, when asked about efficiency, pride at work and enthusiasm regarding their job, those aged 18-29 consistently showed increased negativity compared to those aged 30 plus. The figures show that the older the respondent, the more positive they feel at work across all fronts.

Almost a quarter of all employees responded that the offer of long-term benefits, such as health insurance, would result in them feeling happier at work. Almost 20 percent of those aged 18-29 feel that being offered instant benefits, such as retail discounts and cinema tickets, would improve their engagement with their employer. When asked about the impact of money on happiness, respondents were split 50:50, showing that money is not always the way to long-term happiness at work. Recognition and a simple thank you for a job well done came out as recurring theme, both as something valued by those who feel happy at work and as significantly missing from the workplace of those feeling unhappy.

Key points:

  • 48 percent of UK employees surveyed are not happy at work
  • Yet happy workers are 12 per cent more productive
  • Only 39 percent of junior team members feel positive about whether their job is important and worthwhile
  • The over 50s most want to get to work in the mornings, while the 18-29s are the least keen
  • 52 percent of respondents felt that their job is important and worthwhile
  • Only 11 per cent said instant benefits such as cinema and retail discounts would have an impact on their happiness at work while 23 percent said longer-term benefits such as life and medical insurance or hospital plans would make them happier
  • On average 52 percent of all respondents are working as efficiently as possible
  • 30 percent of front line employees never feel enthusiastic about work
  • 33 percent of people responded that in the last month, something has happened which had made them feel positive about working life
  • 35 percent of employees would be happier if they had more recognition in the workplace
  • Time and long hours are the most cited major complaints when asked what would make people happier at work
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