Wales officially has the UK’s happiest workers – but the UK as a whole has much room for improvement

Office Genie surveyed 2,000 UK office workers and asked them about factors affecting their happiness in the workplace.

Happiness levels were rated out of 5, with the average level of workplace happiness for British employees scoring at 3.63/5.  The findings made interesting reading:

Rhossili Beach, Gower Peninsula

Welsh workers are happiest and Northern Ireland workers the least happy

Overall, the report found little differentiation between the regions, but of the Welsh workers surveyed, 71% were happy at work compared to only 57% of workers in Northern Ireland.

HR News Editor Lisa Baker says:

“We have well-trained talent, good opportunities, lovely beaches, pretty scenery and great food, as well as a superb sporting culture all within a drive of any major city in the region, so Wales offers a good work/life balance and is proving increasingly attractive as a place to start a business.  It’s great to see our staff named the UK’s happiest workers – especially after all the unique economic challenges Wales has had to deal with.  I’m sure our positive Welsh spirit is the secret to the resilience of our welsh workforce.”   

However, the report found much room for improving overall employee happiness at work:

Junior staff are most unhappy

Junior staff are 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% higher.


Mental health provisions poor and inadequate

Of most concern was the fact employees with mental health issues feel unsupported in the workplace: Over half (51%) 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% of people with mental health issues saying they would be beneficial – well above the overall average.


Nearly half of workers overworked and a quarter feel unfulfilled

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


67% say a pay rise would help

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


Nearly half cannot work from home, but nearly three quarters want the option

Despite the desire for flexibility, many workers are not afforded the privilege of remote working. Nearly half of employees (46%) cannot work from home but a considerable 74% 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% difference to happiness levels.

A desire for more privacy was also discovered: 40% 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.

For further insights, please see Office Genie’s Workplace Happiness Report – the full white paper can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.


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