It makes sense that if you’re happy at work, your productivity will increase. Many things can affect happiness at work; relationships with peers, the length of your to-do list, the environment you work in and facilities available to you – just to name a few.

A survey of over 2,000 UK workers revealed that people start to become unhappy in their job at the age of 35. If a worker is 35 and has been working since leaving education, their work life isn’t even half-way done yet, which puts the tender age of 35 in perspective as rather early on to start job-hating.

The survey, which was carried out by human resource firm Robert Half UK, also revealed that of those asked, just under one third of over 55’s feel unappreciated at work, and 16% say they don’t have any friends.

Different generations at work

The survey focuses a lot on age, with the older employees receiving less job happiness and satisfaction.  City & Guilds Group reports that one fifth of older British workers believe their employers don’t value staff of all ages equally. And, according to Capita Resourcing, a third of over 55’s feel side-lined by the younger millennial workforce. These statistics perhaps explain the drop in happiness outlined by Robert Half UK’S survey.

Workplace design and happiness

While design may not be the first thing to blame for workplace unhappiness, there are design factors which can affect mood at work.

Communal Spaces - If an office has a lack of communal spaces that promote socialisation, employee’s happiness may decrease due to low rapport and no friendships at work. These areas would not only promote conversation and collaboration for employees of all ages, but also offer a relaxing space away from a potentially hectic and stressful desk area, again to likely boost happiness.

Having opportunity to socialise and build rapport with colleagues is likely to boost happiness, especially if humour and relaxed joking becomes regular during breaks – more on workplace humour here.

Work environment - If an office space isn’t an inviting or engaging place to work, happiness can decrease. While it can all depend on individual preferences, generally, more exposure to natural light, stylish, clever design and good air quality make up a happy workplace (as opposed to a windowless room painted black, if we’re looking at the extreme other end of the spectrum.)

While colours and layout may not seem overly influential, they really are, as we’ve previously discussed. Tones, hues and vibrancy all have impact on mood and therefore productivity, as does where you’re sat in the office compared to your peers.

As more and more studies concerning age-gap and workplace moral are released, it’s hoped that the future of office design will adapt to all to promote a healthy, social and happy workforce of all ages. 

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our Content Writer.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with a love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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