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One in ten Brits love their jobs so much they would do it for free

Today, a new survey revealed that more than one in ten Britons (11 per cent) love their jobs so much they would do it for free. The research which was carried out by and GfK, an independent international market research company, studied the different levels of job satisfaction among UK workers.

The international survey polled more than 8,000 workers including almost 2,000 in the UK.

Money doesn’t (always) buy happiness

The survey also looked at the split in happiness at work by income. Thirteen per cent of those with the lowest income said they love their job, suggesting that perhaps money isn’t everything. 

“It’s said that money can’t buy you happiness, and it certainly seems like some UK workers agree,” commented Michael Gentle, Head of Consumer Marketing at

“Jobs in certain sectors like education, nursing or charities may not be the highest paying, but can offer a lot of personal fulfilment. While money is often an important factor in choosing a position, the survey results suggest that there can be much more to job satisfaction than just an impressive pay-cheque. And whatever your primary motivation is, we think every jobseeker should find something that on some level provides a level of fulfilment.”

Younger Workers – most dissatisfied

The research shows that the UK’s younger workers are most divided in terms of their professional contentment.  More than one in five (23 per cent) workers under the age of 25 say they hate or don’t like their jobs, making them the unhappiest age group.  Despite this they are also the most passionate, with 16 per cent indicating that they love their jobs so much they would do them for free. 

“Younger workers are ambitious with high goals, so it makes sense we’d see a stark polarisation among job satisfaction. Those with jobs that offer them a clear chance to grow are plotting their world domination, while others are likely planning their escape,” said Gentle.

“Savvy employers mentor their younger workers, challenging them and offering clear objectives with tangible rewards – this will help them stay engaged and improve retention.”

However, while some of those who have entered the world of work in the last few years may be unhappy, it seems the further Brits progress in their careers the more they are able to identify their passions and secure jobs that they enjoy the research revealed that 36 per cent of those aged 35-49 like their jobs a lot and 42 per cent of those aged 50-64 feel the same.

An international view of happiness at work

The worldwide study results show that Brits are generally middle-of-the-road in terms of the number that either love their jobs or like them a lot. According to the survey Canadians were the happiest nation at work, with two thirds (64 per cent) saying they either love or like their employment, followed by the Netherlands (57 per cent), India (55 per cent), US (53 per cent), UK (46 per cent), France (43 per cent) and Germany (35 per cent).

US respondents were the most likely to feel negatively towards their jobs, with 15 per cent giving their jobs a big thumbs down. This was followed by UK (13 per cent), Germany (10 per cent), France (nine per cent), Canada and the Netherlands (both at 7 per cent) and India (5 per cent). 

About the Survey

Surveying over 8,000 people in Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, UK and US, this survey was conducted using GfK’s GLOBOBUS, a monthly global omnibus study. 

In the UK, the data was collected using Computer Assisted Personal interviews to maximize participation and representativeness of respondents, including younger and older adults.  The total UK sample size is 1,968.  For questions only asked of working Brits, the weighted sample size is 1,144.


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