In a recent survey of 2,000 UK office workers, commercial real estate agency Office Genie sought to gain an understanding of happiness levels in the workplace. Rating happiness levels out of 5, the average for UK office workers came in at just 3.63, with some areas performing better than others.

At the top of the table in terms of happiness is Wales, with 71% of those surveyed in the country describing themselves as happy at work. The region is closely followed by Yorkshire and the Humber (68%), and the South East (67%).
Img: Office Genie
At the other end of the scale is Northern Ireland; with just 57% of workers being happy in their working environment, the luck of the Irish is proving no help for the UK’s worst performing area. Doing little better are the North East (60%), and East Anglia (61%).

Breaking it down by position, it is revealed that business owners (4.2) are 25% happier than junior staff (3.4). The rating for junior management sits at 3.7, for middle management this is 3.7, and for senior management the figure is 3.9.

More encouraging is the similarity between male and female workers, especially with gender issues in the workplace getting more and more attention. Overall, 64% of male workers described themselves as ‘quite happy’ or ‘very happy’. Female workers are actually slightly happier in general, with 67% being ‘quite’ or ‘very happy’.

So, what are the driving factors behind these figures? In terms of workplace stress, the leading causes are stated to be feeling overwhelmed (47%), a lack of control (25%), and a lack of fulfillment (25%).

On the other hand, the favoured incentives include the prospect of a pay rise (67%), bonuses (33%), flexible hours (33%), and a shorter working week (22%).

If you look at the impact of office design the results are a little surprising. Home-based working came in top with an overall happiness rating of 4.0, which is largely expected. Less expected is the fact that both cubicle and traditional offices, with ratings of 3.9 and 3.8 respectively, each performed better than open plan, which was given a rating of 3.6.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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