Workplace Happiness Report

Published on 10th April 2017 We decided to explore the important topic of workplace happiness and our findings demonstrate that, while the majority of employees are somewhere nearing content, happiness could do with a boost in Britain's workplaces. In our survey of 2,000 UK office workers, we found happiness differs by region, gender, age, and the level of seniority within a company. There are, however, some clear markers for happiness: there are stressors to watch out for; and key incentives that can help boost wellbeing and positivity. Have a look at our findings below, or for a fuller picture, download our whitepaper - you'll find it at the bottom of the page.

Overall happiness in the workplace

Filter by:
very happy icon Very happy
quite happy icon Quite happy
neither happy nor unhappy icon Neither happy nor unhappy
quite unhappy icon Quite unhappy
very unhappy icon Very unhappy

Happiness by region

Overall, there is little differentiation between the regions. The three happiest proved to be Wales (71%), Yorkshire and the Humber (68%), and the South East (67%); the three unhappiest are Northern Ireland (57%), the North East (60%), and East Anglia (61%). There is however a striking difference between the happiest location and the least happy.


Happiest: 71%

wales topographic outline

Northern Ireland

Least happy: 57%

northern ireland topographic outline

Happiness by seniority

Business owner (4.2/5)
Senior management (3.9/5)
Middle management (3.7/5)
Junior management (3.5/5)
Junior staff (3.4/5)

Gender gap in the workplace

There are very few differences when it comes to what men and women think about the workplace and what they want from their working environment. The main points of divergence are on opinions of flexible and remote working, sources of stress, and tendencies towards presenteeism.

36% of women voted flexible working as the factor that would most improve their happiness at work compared to 29% of men

51% of women feel overworked compared to 43% of men

In terms of presenteeism, 61% of women say they go into work when they're ill compared to 51% of men

Stressors very unhappy icon

I feel I am overworked (47%)
I have a lack of control over my role (25%)
I don't feel fulfilled (25%)
I don't feel challenged (22%)
A bad relationship with management (21%)
None / N/A / I have never been stressed in the workplace (18%)
A bad relationship with colleagues (16%)
My working environment (16%)
Workplace discrimination (8%)

Incentives very happy icon

Pay rise (67%)
Bonuses (33%)
Flexible hours (33%)
Shorter working week (22%)
More praise (18%)
Remote working (16%)
More control over my workload (12%)
A better working environment (12%)
Regular breaks (8%)
More socials and charity events (5%)

Workplace design

Office at home (4.0/5)
Cubicle (3.9/5)
Traditional (many/several small rooms) (3.8/5)
Open plan (3.6/5)

Flexible working

59% of people believe working from home improves workplace happiness

32% of the workforce are unable to work from home

33% of employees selected ‘flexible hours’ as an incentive to boost happiness levels

How does your workplace compare?

Would you recommend your place of work?

If you'd like to know about our research into workplace happiness in greater detail, please download our whitepaper:

Download Workplace Happiness Report

Junior staff feel overworked (46%) yet unfulfilled (32%) and not challenged (29%). 62% feel they deserve more money and 23% would like more praise. They are the least happy in the workforce.

Business owners are the only people in the workplace who value job satisfaction over pay. This may be because 70% are happy with the wage they are on. They are 17% happier than average.