March 20, 2019
The quality of the workplace has a powerful effect on the levels of happiness of staff, with nearly half of respondents (49 percent) to a recent survey stating that having a great office environment is important to their happiness at work, but according to the figures, only a quarter (25 percent) say a good workplace environment is a current positive about their work. The survey from Peldon Rose also found that less than half (45 percent) of employees actually feel appreciated at work and only two-thirds (67 percent) report feeling happy. Yet the majority of workers (80 percent) who took part, believe that feeling appreciated is most important to their happiness at work – ahead of salary (58 percent) and feeling trusted (55 percent).
The Happy Office Survey also rates the happiest sectors to work in, with construction and manufacturing topping the league table with nearly 8 in 10 (78 percent) saying they are happy at work, followed by media and communications (72 percent), and hospitality and leisure (72 percent). At the bottom of the league table is retail, with only 54 percent of retail workers reporting that they are happy at work, below IT and telecoms (66 percent) and education (67 percent).
Jitesh Patel, Chief Executive at Peldon Rose, commented: “Happiness is not only crucial to the mental wellbeing of employees, it is also good for business. Happy workers will be more productive and creative and more likely to be loyal to their employers. To improve happiness levels, it is vital that employers demonstrate their appreciation to their employees by investing in training and development, tools and technology and the right office environment.”
Workplace Happiness League Table
Percentage of employees who say they are ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ at work:
|Construction and manufacturing
|Media and communications
|Hospitality and leisure
|Medical and health
|Real estate / property
|IT and telecoms
Feeling appreciated: Eighty percent of people say that feeling appreciated is important to their happiness at work, ahead of salary (58 percent) and feeling trusted (55 percent) but only 45 percent of employees actually feel appreciated by their company.
Demonstrating appreciation: Training and development (80 percent), tools and technology to do the job efficiently (79 percent), full kitchen facilities (59 percent) and quiet zones to concentrate (59 percent) are all considered important in making people feel appreciated at work.
Happiest workers: Construction and manufacturing workers are the nation’s happiest; 78 percent are happy at work compared with 67 percent of employees nationally. Over half (54 percent) of workers in this sector feel appreciated by their company, compared with 45 percent nationally, and they are most likely to agree that they have the right tools and technology to do their jobs (66 percent vs 55 percent nationally).
Least happy workers: Those working in retail are the nation’s least happy employees, with only 54 percent saying they are happy at work. Retail workers are least likely of all sectors to say they feel appreciated by their company (34 percent vs 45 percent nationally) and are least likely to have the right tools and technology to do their jobs (47 percent vs 55 percent nationally). Retail employees are also most likely to be concerned by a negative work culture such a bullying, 45 percent are worried about this vs 36 percent nationally.
Young and happy: Generation Z (18-24) – the office’s youngest workers – are the happiest, with 72 percent saying that they are happy at work, vs 67 percent nationally. Gen Z’s are much more likely to think a good company culture (71 percent vs 48 percent nationally) and a great office environment (66 percent vs 49 percent nationally) are important to their happiness at work
Based on Peldon Rose’s expertise as workplace consultants and feedback from the survey, the company has created four key initiatives for businesses to help tackle the barriers to happiness in the workplace and create a more contented workforce:
Different office personalities will have different requirements from their working environment and employers should conduct a workplace survey to discover what their employees want and need
Happy (work)space: Different office personalities will have different requirements from their working environment and employers should conduct a workplace survey to discover what their employees want and need from their workplace and introduce the required changes. Small additions can make a big difference and relatively simple steps such as ensuring more natural light and using space more efficiently can really improve a working environment as well as demonstrate to employees that they are being listened to.
Invest in tech: While having the right tools and technology to do the job properly (79 percent) is a leading factor in helping people feel appreciated at work, only 55 percent of employees state that they have this. Employers must ensure that workers’ jobs are being helped not hindered by investing in the technology that will best support employees to do their jobs. The right technology will also enable employees to work flexibly and maximise all available office space, including quiet and communal areas.
Encourage friendships at work: More people consider ‘friendships at work’ (63 percent) as a current positive about their work than any other factor – ahead of flexible working (43 percent) and rewarding work (36 percent). To build on this, employers should ensure that the workplace is actively helping to develop friendships as two-thirds of employees (67 percent) say communal social spaces and informal breakout areas (64 percent) are important in helping build friendships at work.
Boost company culture. The happiest workers are most likely to say that a good company culture is important to their happiness – 55 percent of construction and manufacturing workers state this vs 48 percent nationally – and 71 percent of Generation Z, the happiest age group, agree with this. However, nationally only 22 percent of workers currently state that they have a good company culture, which is something businesses must look to address. A positive company culture will mean different things to different people so employers should engage directly with their staff through a number of methods to discover what is and isn’t working and, wherever possible, introduce meaningful change. This will help create a positive and supportive office environment around the company’s greatest asset – its people.