Britain’s workplaces need to do more to boost happiness

A lack of flexible working provisions and mental health support; and the relative unhappiness of junior staff, a new survey reveals.

Office Genie surveyed 2,000 UK office workers and asked them about factors affecting their happiness in the workplace. While the average level of workplace happiness for British employees sits at 3.63/5, they find some serious causes for concern.

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 per cent higher.

Of further concern was the fact employees with mental health issues feel unsupported in the workplace: More than half (51 per cent) believe their place of work offers inadequate levels of support.

Amongst this demographic the most called-for support method is wellness initiatives, with 45 per cent of people with mental health issues saying they would be beneficial – well above the overall average.

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

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

Despite the desire for flexibility, many workers are not afforded the privilege of remote working. Nearly half of employees (46 per cent) cannot work from home but a considerable 74 per cent of them believe it would improve their happiness with work.

The workplace itself has significant impact upon happiness. Feeling comfortable with the design of a space makes a huge 33 per cent difference to happiness levels.

A desire for more privacy is also prevalent, as 40 per cent 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.

Further reading on workplace happiness

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

Related Topics

Employee happiness