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The happiness barometer: a look into the happiness of the UK workforce

The aim of the survey is to explore employee’s perceptions of day to day working life, and question their daily routines. For example does London have the happiest workers? Which city do most PHD educated workers reside in? 

With the mass availability and advancements in technology allowing us to connect, collaborate and communicate easily with people across all areas of the UK, Conference Genie questions the relevance of location when working with talented people across the UK. 

Happiness

The average UK worker only scored their happiness within their current line of work at 5.74 on a scale of 1-10

The majority of workers scored their happiness at a 7 (17%)

Workers are more likely to rate themselves at a & lsquo;3’ in terms of happiness (8%) than an & lsquo;8’.

Generally, more UK workers say they are happy within their line of work (56% scored themselves 6 or above) than those that are not (27.65% said 4 or below)

Overall happiness at work

Respondents said the best part of their current job is their pay (23%) and colleagues (23%) 

Interestingly, the worst part of people’s jobs was also pay (21%) and the commute (20%)

 Best part of current job                            Worst part of current job

Cities

45% of those surveyed still work in the city they were born in, whereas 55% now work in a different city to that they were born in.

The main reason for respondents living in their current city was for family (55%)

Respondents said they were more likely to live in a city for their career (39%) rather than friends (37%)

The majority of workers said they would be willing to relocate to a different city for their job role. (40% said yes)

Disregarding any current deciding factors such as family commitments, money, jobs etc. respondents said they would most like to live in:

• London  22.85%

• Birmingham 5.85%

• Manchester 5.00%

• Brighton and Hove 4.40%

• York 4.30%

City Specific

Workers from Aberystwyth are the most likely to have been born within the city and stayed working there. (63% of workers say they were born in Aberystwyth) – 

Aberystwyth is the unhappiest city of workers with an average score of 3.42

Coventry is the second unhappiest city of workers with an average score of 4.16

Workers in Chelmsford are the lease likely to have been born there and stayed working there. (83% of workers on Chelmsford said they weren’t born in the city)

Workers in Plymouth say they are the happiest in their current line of work with an average of 7.25 on a scale of 1-10. Interestingly, Plymouth was the second most popular city for flexible working with 54% of workers saying the work flexible hours and 92% of workers saying they have an & lsquo;Ok’ or & lsquo;Good’ overall work/life balance.

Workers in Plymouth also said the best part of their job was their fellow colleagues (33%) with only 16% saying the best part of their job is their pay. The majority (21%) also said that none of the named (including pay, colleagues, commute, job) were the worst part of their job. 

The other happiest cities include:

• Leeds – 6.67 

• Wrexham & Oxford – 6.47 

• Worcester – 6.42

• Wolverhampton – 6.24

• Manchester & Norwich – 6.23

Work/Life Balance

The majority of respondents describe their current work/life balance as & lsquo;good’ (43%) however, 1 in 10 admitted that their work life balance is & lsquo;quite bad’ (10%)

The majority of respondents say they work an average of 1-5 hours a week over their contracted hours (32%) and a whopping 29% say they work 6-10 hours over their contract every week.

Only 20% of respondents say they work their exact contracted hours without doing any over.

The majority of workers surveyed said they have only had 1-2 jobs in the past 5 years (63%). 19% said they have had 3-4.

Out of Office and Flexible Working

There is now about a 50/50 split of those who work in and out of the office. With an exact 50% of respondents saying they work out of the office to an exact 50% who say they never do.

Of those, the average amount of hours spent out of the office each day is 3.7 with 22% of respondents also saying they work an average of 5-6 hours out of the office every day.

There is also now nearly a 50/50 split between those who work flexibly. 53% of respondents say they do not work flexibly but a massive 39% say they work flexible hours and 8% say they work flexible days.

Overtime

Workers in Cambridge work the largest amount of hours over their contracted hours in an average week (8.6hours)

Those in Brighton and Hove are the second most likely to work the most over contracted hours (7.79) and Aberystwyth working an average of 7.84 extra hours a week

Workers in Portsmouth are the least likely to work excessive overtime with an average of only 2.56 hours.

Education 

The majority of those surveyed held an education of degree level (41%)

 Highest level of education held

Aberdeen was identified as the city most likely to have workers of a PHD level with a quarter of respondents saying they have a PHD. Interestingly, Aberdeen only has an average happiness rating of 4.31

The happiest city of Plymouth (42%) Leeds (44%) Oxford (38%) and Wrexham (33%) all have a majority of workers at degree level. 

Age Specific

Respondents between the ages of 18-24 are the unhappiest within their line of work with an average happiness rating of only 5.45. Interestingly, this age group were those most likely to be working in the same city they were born in (54% said they were born in the city they currently work in)

25-34 year olds have the best work/life balance with 57.5% of respondents saying they have a & lsquo;good’ or & lsquo;amazing’ work life balance.

45-54 year olds are the least likely to work excessive overtime, saying they only work an average of 5.24 hours over their contracted hours in an average week.

35-44 are those most likely to work out of the office, working an average of 4.18 hours a day out of the office. They are also the age group most likely to work flexibly with 51% of respondents saying they work flexible hours or days.

Gender

Female workers are generally happier within their current line of work with the average female worker scoring a happiness rating of 5.82 as opposed to the male average of 5.68. 

Male respondents are more likely than women to work over their contracted hours with an average of 6.83 hours a week in comparison to females 5.84.

Interestingly, male respondents are more likely to work flexibly with 51.29% of male respondents saying they work either flexible hours or flexible days. – Really good indicator of how well the new law in June has had an impact on the flexible workplace. 

Female respondents say their colleagues are the best part of their current job (26%) with males saying it is their pay (26%)

See more from Conference Genie here

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