More than a third of Brits are unhappy in their jobs

·Lifestyle Writer, Yahoo Life UK
·5-min read
A crowd of almost 100 workers comprising 11 different sectors hold emoji-shaped balloons to  illustrate new insights from Indeed’s ‘Work Happiness Score’, the world’s largest study of work happiness. The event acts as a stark warning to employees and employers of the scale of unhappiness across the nation, as the data shows that over a third of the UK’s workforce is unhappy in their job. The study, which has been developed with guidance from the Wellbeing Research Centre at Oxford University, found that real estate, management and consulting and the automotive industries are the unhappiest, while education, aerospace and defence and the media are the countries happiest (SWNS)
Many Brits are unhappy in their jobs, affecting their personal lives and wellbeing (SWNS)

More than one in three people (36%) are unhappy in their jobs, the UK's largest study of work happiness has unearthed.

The least happy sector to work in is property, followed by management, consulting and the automotive industry.

In contrast, the happiest sector to work in is education, scoring high on a clear sense of purpose, followed by aerospace and defence, and media and communications.

The findings come from job platform Indeed's Work Happiness Score, which measures how people feel at work and why, displaying data for more than 1,800 organisations in the UK across 25 different sectors.

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Happiness is measured with current and former employees rating companies on a scale of one to five, based on the statement: 'I feel happy at work most of the time'.

The survey also enquires about other factors like belonging, appreciation, inclusion, support, purpose, energy, learning, achievement, trust, flexibility, compensation, stress level, satisfaction, and manager support.

Shot of a young businesswoman looking stressed out while working in an office
More than one in three people are unhappy in their roles, with real estate being the least happy sector (Getty Images)

This also comes as supporting research, conducted via OnePoll, reveals the huge amount of time people spend unhappy in their roles, and the effects this has on personal lives and wellbeing.

Completing the top 10 of the least happy sectors are telecommunications, restaurants and food services, insurance, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, arts, entertainment and recreation and retail and wholesale.

Completing the top 10 happiest sectors are government and public administration (scoring high on work contentment), information technology, non-profit and NGO, human resources and staffing, personal consumer services, hotels and travel accommodation and healthcare.

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Tired young businessman working at home using lap top and looking Anxious
"Happiness should not be a privilege but when it comes to work, it's a fundamental right," says LaFawn Davis (Getty Images)

In response to the findings, almost 100 British workers from 11 different sectors, including property, construction and healthcare, demonstrated in London's Trafalgar Square on 25th January 2022. They held sad and happy face emoji balloons, to convey the number of Brits feeling discontented with their jobs.

Indeed's Work Happiness Score was developed with guidance from Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Professor of Economics at Saïd Business School and Director of the Wellbeing Research Centre at Oxford University, and Dr Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at University of California.

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Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve said, "Happiness at work is critical to people's wellbeing for obvious reasons, but it is also a driver of their productivity and success.

"So, employers are well advised to get the emotional pulse of their organisation and have a frequent measure of workplace happiness." He pointed to Indeed's Work Happiness Score as a robust measure of work happiness and its drivers for employers and employees.

A crowd of almost 100 workers comprising 11 different sectors hold emoji-shaped balloons to  illustrate new insights from Indeed’s ‘Work Happiness Score’, the world’s largest study of work happiness. The event acts as a stark warning to employees and employers of the scale of unhappiness across the nation, as the data shows that over a third of the UK’s workforce is unhappy in their job. The study, which has been developed with guidance from the Wellbeing Research Centre at Oxford University, found that real estate, management and consulting and the automotive industries are the unhappiest, while education, aerospace and defence and the media are the countryies happiest (SWNS)
Workers held emoji-shaped balloons at Trafalger Square, dressed in uniforms from different sectors, to illustrate new insights from Indeed's Work Happiness Scoret (SWNS)

De Neve added, "This is only the beginning, and I'm so excited to witness the positive impact this score has on fostering happy and thriving workforces across the UK and globally."

The supporting OnePoll research of 2,000 found the average worker spends a fifth of every year feeling unhappy in their role.

Sadly, one in 10 (11%) start feeling unhappy very quickly – less than six months into a new job.

The survey also found that unhappiness in the workplace has a direct effect on personal lives, with more than a quarter (28%) revealing they struggle to find enjoyment in other aspects of their lives due to feeling unhappy at work.

Meanwhile, this has affected things at home further, with 22% admitting to taking work frustrations out on their partners.

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Almost three-quarters (72%) feel their workforce unhappiness has negatively impacted their physical and/or mental wellbeing, with 44% losing sleep and 43% lacking energy.

This has displayed itself in very real ways. A third (33%) of unhappy workers have subsequently experienced physical symptoms, with headaches and migraines (55%) the most common.

LaFawn Davis, Senior Vice President at Indeed, said, "Happiness should not be a privilege - when it comes to work, it's a fundamental right.

"Job postings in the UK have soared above their pre-pandemic level. As the labour market shakes off the ill effects of the pandemic, the adjustments caused by Covid-19 have tipped the balance of power in favour of jobseekers.

"For employers, this means taking a holistic approach to employee wellbeing – and our Work Happiness Score will make it easier for them to measure drivers of happiness to see where improvements can be made."

Providing some encouragement for Brits, she added, "While many UK workers are unhappy, there are reasons for optimism. An overwhelming majority of people believe happiness at work is possible, and while some sectors are more satisfied than others, we know happiness is possible in all workplaces."

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