In Brief

Majority of Brits ‘dissatisfied with their job’

Survey of employees finds most of us are disgruntled and dissatisfied in our jobs

Most Brits are disgruntled and dissatisfied with their jobs, with nearly half struggling to summon the enthusiasm to climb out of bed in the morning, a new report has revealed.

A survey of employees by Personal Group found workplace happiness in the UK has dropped steadily over the past three years. In 2017, the HR firm found 51% of staff reported being happy most of the time at work, however, this has dropped to just 41% today.

Meanwhile, 47% of staff are not keen to get to work in the morning, up from 36% in 2017, while 26% report that they are almost never happy in the workplace at all.

The Times says “happiness is determined to a large degree by age and seniority, with young, low-ranking frontline staff the most disillusioned”.

By contrast, among company directors, 68% reported being happy most of the time at work, compared with only 37% of frontline staff.

Numerous studies have found making people happy encourages them to put in more effort, with a research by the University of Warwick Department of Economics estimating it could increasing their productivity by as much as 12%.

“That's huge” says Wired, “a 12 per cent increase to the UK's 2017 GDP would add 24,046 million pounds to the national economy”.

Deborah Frost, chief executive of Personal Group, said: “On the whole, people inherently want to do a good job, and our role as employers should be to recognise and reward this effort. More recognition remains one of the most sought-after workplace benefits, so if companies want to remain competitive, it’s vital they listen to their employees.”

The UK lags behind many of its western counterparts when it comes to happiness in the workplace and productivity.

Engaging Works’ annual State of the Nation review of job satisfaction published in January 2019 ranks countries' average workplace happiness from zero to 10. It placed Austria top with a score of 7.67 followed by Belgium (7.65), the Netherlands (7.18) and Germany (7.02), with Poland (6.95) completing the top five.

Also ahead of the UK which averages 6.43, are France (6.95), Australia (6.69), Spain (6.62) and the US (6.59).

According to Employee Benefits, the UK scores above the global average for information sharing, development and having sufficient resources, “but below the average for pride in the organisation, feeling respected and fairly rewarded, views being heard, doing something worthwhile and workplace relationships”.

Lord Mark Price, founder of Engaging Works, said: “What is perhaps most striking is that eight of the countries which sit ahead of the UK in 10th place also sit above the UK for productivity, where the UK is a global laggard”.

“In a post-Brexit, free-market, open-trading world, improving our productivity through having a more engaged and happier workforce will become even more vital if we are to become globally competitive. The more the government can do to promote the happiness and wellbeing of the workforce, the richer we will be as a country,” he says.

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