More needs to be done to boost happiness in the workplace, claims study

A new report from Office Genie claims to identify the factors that affect the happiness British staff in the workplace. While the average level of workplace happiness for British employees sits at 3.63/5, the study of 2,000 staff claims to have found some serious causes for concern. Junior staff were the least happy in the workforce: they rank at 3.40 on the happiness scale – comparatively, business owners rank at 4.20 – a significant 25 percent higher. Of further concern, according to the report, was the fact employees with mental health issues feel unsupported in the workplace: Over half (51 percent) of such respondents believe their place of work offers inadequate levels of support. Amongst this demographic the most called-for support method is wellness initiatives, with 45 percent of people with mental health issues saying they would be beneficial – well above the overall average.

The report also claims to have identified a number of major stress factors in the modern workplace. By far the most common of these is feeling overworked (47 percent). This is followed by a lack of control over the role (25 percent), and not feeling fulfilled (25 percent). The latter two were particularly prevalent amongst junior staff.

In contrast, the report uncovered a number of key incentives employees feel would boost happiness: Top is pay; 67 percent saying a pay rise would increase their happiness with work. Following this is flexible hours (33 percent) – equal with bonuses (33 percent).

Despite the desire for flexibility, many workers are not afforded the privilege of remote working. Nearly half of employees (46 percent) cannot work from home but a considerable 74 percent of them believe it would improve their happiness with work.

The workplace itself was also found to have a significant impact upon happiness. Feeling comfortable with the design of a space was found to make a huge 33 percent difference to happiness levels.

A desire for more privacy was also discovered: 40 percent of people feel they do not have sufficient levels of privacy in their place of work. And, perhaps accordingly, open-plan office house the least happy employees.

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