The truth about women’s workplace happiness in the UK

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Emily Reynolds
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2018 saw British women move ahead of men in terms of workplace happiness for the first time.

How did you feel about your career in 2018? Excited? Frustrated? Fulfilled? Stuck?

If you felt pretty damn cheerful about your professional life last year, you’re not alone. Because according to new research, British women were the happiest they’ve ever been at work in 2018.

The research, conducted by workplace happiness company Engaging Works, found that the UK’s workplace happiness is on an “upwards trajectory” in general – with both male and female employees far happier in 2018 than they were the year before.

Women moved ahead of men in workplace happiness for the first time, though researchers also point out that “both sexes saw marked improvements over the previous year”. 

Millennials didn’t fare so well, significantly less happy than their older colleagues

Over 10,000 people were surveyed globally to take part in the research. While the findings were positive for British women, it looks as though the UK could do with some improvement when it comes to workplace happiness more generally.

Austria, The Netherlands, the United States and Germany topped the list for employee happiness in the workplace, followed in tenth place by the UK, which has an average happiness score of 6.43. If that was a school report card, it would read: “Could do better.”

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The UK scored above the global average in information sharing, development and resources. However, British workplaces lagged slightly behind when it came to employees’ emotions. UK employees were less likely than those in several other countries to feel proud in British organisations and to feel like they were respected and fairly rewarded at work.

Workers in the UK were also not as likely to feel like their views were heard in the workplace, that they were doing something worthwhile, and that they had strong workplace relationships – all important categories.

Women were happier than their male counterparts at work in 2018

Millennials were also significantly less happy than their older colleagues – perhaps down to the precarious nature of work for many adults in their 20s and 30s.

Mark Price, founder of Engaging Works, said that getting employees happier and more engaged will improve productivity and boost the workforce.

“What is perhaps most striking is that eight of the countries which sit ahead of the UK in tenth place also sit above the UK for productivity, where the UK is a global laggard,” he said. “In a post-Brexit free market, improving our productivity through a more engaged and happier workforce will become even more vital if we are to become globally competitive.”

Want to be even happier at work? Aim for the stars.

Managers continued to be happier at work than non-managers – the perfect incentive to ask for that promotion you deserve. Read our tips on how to get a promotion in 2019 here

The evidence of stress in our lives is everywhere, from bad sleep to increased anxiety. So in January 2019, is dedicated to creating a life less frazzled. We’ll be focusing on uplifting news, feelgood features and recommendations for fun things to do, with the goal of making you feel calmer and more positive about the coming year. 

Images: Unsplash