Are you one of the happiest workers in the UK?

Male workers aged over 55 working in a marketing, comms or advertising micro-business are happiest in the UK.

Older workers employed by micro-businesses within marketing, communications or advertising are the happiest at work than any other age group, according to new research.

A survey of 1,024 UK workers, by workplace incentives and rewards provider, One4all Rewards, and published in The 2018 Happiness Survey, surveyed employees from different age groups, genders and industries, asking them to score how happy they are in their current roles out of 10.

Interestingly, workers in one of the oldest age brackets – aged 55 and over – were happier than any other age group, scoring 6.91. Meanwhile, men rated their happiness at work higher than women (6.85 vs. 6.78).

The data revealed that the marketing, communications and advertising industry currently boasts the happiest employees – with staff in this sector rating their happiness as a glowing 8.13 out of 10.

Interestingly, workers within the smallest of UK companies – micro businesses, employing less than four members of staff – reported being happier than those at companies of any other size.

While the average UK employee rates their morale at work as 6.81 out of 10, just 13 per cent scored fewer than 5 out 10 and in fact, almost 1 in 4 (22 per cent) rated their happiness as 8 out of 10 – suggesting, on the whole the British workforce is pretty positive about work.

Unsurprisingly, respondents felt it was the remuneration they receive for the work they do – such as salary and wages – that plays the most important (38 per cent) role in their happiness.

But softer factors such as the relationships workers have with their colleagues (37 per cent) and the nature of the work that they do (34 per cent) followed in second and third place.

Alan Smith, UK managing director at One4all Rewards, says, ‘It is interesting to see how happiness levels vary between the different demographics. For example, those aged 55 and over are happier than any other age group – but interestingly they are also amongst the most likely to believe that the nature of the work they do plays the most key role in their morale at work – putting more emphasis on this than salary, bonuses, annual leave or anything more tangible.

‘This is a factor for other age groups, but its only those aged 45 and over who prioritise this above salary. Clearly, the UK workforce recognises that money is not everything – but one size definitely doesn’t fit all. In order to maintain or significantly improve morale, it is important for employers to take note of what drives the different kinds of individuals in their workforce.’

Flexible working (29 per cent) – such as the ability to work from home or leave early – and the relationships they have with management (25 per cent) completed the top five aspects that have the biggest impact on UK employees’ happiness at work.

Top ten factors that play a key part in workers happiness

  1. Salary or wages – 38 per cent
  2. Relationships with colleagues – 37 per cent
  3. The nature of the work – 34 per cent
  4. Flexible working – 29 per cent
  5. Relationships with management – 25 per cent
  6. The physical working environment – 21 per cent
  7. Annual leave allocation – 20 per cent
  8. The workload – 20 per cent
  9. Training opportunities – 18 per cent
  10. Financial based bonuses – 13 per cent

Further reading on happiest workers

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

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Employee happiness