Good working relationships and less stress are key to workplace happiness 0

Less stress and better workplace relationships are the reason why the happiest regions to work in the UK are Yorkshire and the Humber; while uninteresting work is the reason why employees in Scotland and the South are the most unhappy. Research into workplace happiness by Happiness Works on behalf of Robert Half UK claims that 77 percent of employees in Yorkshire and the Humber are the happiest employees in Britain, well above the national average of 63 percent. Those questioned find their work more interesting (74 percent), get on with their team (88 percent), have good friends in the office (72 percent) and suffer less stress (38 percent). Britain’s most unsatisfied employees are those working in Scotland and the South of England, with 17 percent of employees saying they are unhappy at work and one in six expressing their work is not interesting. Over a quarter of those in South (27 percent) don’t have good friends in the office or don’t get on with their teams and one in seven (14 percent) in Scotland feel the same. However, employees in Scotland (63 percent) and the South (65 percent) do believe they have a good work-life balance.

Breakdown of respondents who are generally happy at work

Yorkshire and the Humber 70 percent
East of England 66 percent
Midlands 65 percent
North 63 percent
London 63 percent
South 60 percent
Scotland 56 percent

Source: Robert Half UK and Happiness Works

Other key findings reveal:

  • Londoners have the most influence but are the most stressed – half of employees in the capital claim they influence decision making and 71 percent get a sense of accomplishment from their work compared to a national average of 63 percent. However, 35 percent of Londoners claim their job is stressful, higher than the national average of 31 percent
  • Northerners are most appreciated – over half of those in Manchester, Liverpool and Lancaster are valued by their employers but those in the East of England feel under-appreciated with 28 percent of employees in cities like Peterborough, Cambridge and Norwich not feeling recognised for their efforts
  • Yorkshire and the Humber does the most worthwhile work – Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of those in Yorkshire and the Humber believe they do meaningful work compared to one in seven (14 percent) Southerners who claim they do not do anything significant
  • East of England comes bottom for fairness and respect – only 59 percent of employees in the East feel they are treated fairly, below the national average of 67 percent

“While employee happiness levels may vary across the UK, the bottom line remains the same. Happiness is an individual experience and one solution may not work for everybody. However in our report, The secrets of the happiest companies and employees we have uncovered there are six universal factors that directly affect employee happiness,claims Phil Sheridan, senior managing director, Robert Half UK.

Six factors that drive employee happiness:

1         Right fit for the job and company: When you hire people who mesh well with your workplace culture, they assimilate with greater ease and begin making substantive contributions quickly. Conversely, a poor fit can dampen the morale of the entire team.

2         A sense of empowerment: Empowering staff to make their own decisions improves happiness at work in several ways. It can build their confidence, make them feel more invested in their job, and help them develop critical skills that they can use to advance their careers, while making more meaningful contributions to the company.

3         Feeling appreciated: When you show your staff that you appreciate their hard work and dedication, you instill loyalty and create a positive working environment.

4         Interesting and meaningful work: Employees who see their work as worthwhile are nearly 2.5 times happier than others. An important part of this is being able to provide employees with a shared vision that helps them stay focused on their goals during both the good times and the challenging times.

5         A sense of fairness: Always strive for fairness and transparency in your decision making. Make sure employees feel heard, and have a chance to speak out when they feel a sense of inequity.

6         Positive workplace relationships: A sense of camaraderie at work improves employee communication, cooperation and collaboration, and feeds innovation.

“Happy employees are more engaged, interested and committed. All organisations that want to be successful must make it a priority to introduce policies and initiatives that improve team rapport, make employees feel fulfilled and improve how happy workers feel in their job on a day-to-day basis,” concluded Sheridan.