Older people are happiest at work

The latest edition of the annual Age Research by Engaging Works claims that the happiest people in the workplace are those beyond middle age. By comparison, young employees don’t feel rewarded or recognised and feel that their views are not heard at work. They are also more likely to suffer anxiety in the workplace. However, it’s middle aged employees who are struggling the most at work, admitting that they feel the least developed. They also feel that they have a poor feeling of wellbeing at work and that they don’t have enough information to do their job.

The data has been taken from the Engaging Works Workplace Happiness Survey which has been completed by over ten thousand employees globally since 2017. Founded by former Trade Minister and ex Managing Director of Waitrose, Lord Price, the research also compares industries and management vs non-management.

Highlights from the research include:

  • Older employees (aged 65+) have happier relationships with their line managers, scoring 84 percent compared to employees aged 19-24 who scored just 73 percent
  • Middle aged and older employees feel they are doing something more worthwhile than younger employees (35+ scored 77 percent vs. 19-34 scored 63 percent)
  • The older you get, the more respected you feel at work (65+ scored 81 percent vs. 19-24 scored 67 percent)
  • Employees aged 19-44 are the least likely to feel that their employer cares for their wellbeing (60 percent) compared to those aged 45+ who scored 68 percent
  • Younger employees (19-44) are more likely to feel anxious at work, scoring 60 percent compared to those aged 45 and over who scored 65 percent when asked if they rarely feel anxious in the workplace
  • Employees aged 45+ are happiest with their working environment scoring 72 percent compared to 19-44 who scored 65 percent
  • Middle aged and older employees feel they are doing something more worthwhile than younger employees; 35+ scored 77 percent vs. 19-34 who scored 63 percent

When comparing genders in the workplace, men aged 19-24 are happier (62 percent) than women of the same age (59 percent) with women from this age group feeling least heard at work compared to all other age groups.

Happiest industries for young people aged 18-24 include; Transportation and Logistics, Technology, Not for Pro?t, Entertainment and Media, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing. The unhappiest industries for the same age group include; Wholesale, Public Sector, Financial Services, Energy, Education, Construction and Building materials, Automotive and Engineering, Architecture and Engineering, Aerospace and Defence

Millennials (25-34) are happiest working in; Technology, Marketing and Advertising, Business and Management Services. The unhappiest industries for millennials include; Telecommunications and Publishing, Retail, Real Estate, Rental and Leasing, Public Sector, Legal Services, Healthcare, Financial Services, Entertainment and Media, Architecture and Engineering.

Those aged 45+ are happiest working in; Wholesale, Travel and Leisure, Technology, Retail, Not for Pro?t, Marketing and Advertising, FMCG. The same age group are the unhappiest working in; Transportation and Logistics and Chemicals.

The data also compared managers vs non-managers revealing that young non-managers (62 percent) are happier than managers (60 percent), however from mid-twenties non-managers are unhappier throughout their career.

Engaging Works Founder, Lord Mark Price comments on the data; “It’s clear from our research that employers need to focus on helping middle aged employees feel developed, valued and informed, all to help improve their workplace happiness score. More also needs to be done to help those aged 18 and below as our data reveals that all age groups feel happier at work post Covid 19 apart from those aged 18. Maybe they’ve lost their job or feel that they have no job prospects; employers must support this age group.”