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News Story:

Happiness at work


Happiness at work Dutch workers are the happiest and Italians are the most miserable according to a global survey measuring happiness at work.  Workers in the Netherlands topped the happiness table by scoring highly in areas of motivation (6.24 out of 10), confidence (5.40 out of 10) and of doing something worthwhile at work (5.94 out of 10).  They also reported a strong sense of liking colleagues (5.52 out of 10), enjoying a fair culture (5.84 out of 10) and appreciating their organisations’ values (6.29 out of 10). 
In contrast, Italy’s unhappy workforce reported low levels of liking their colleagues (4.35 out of 10) at work and appreciating their organisations’ values (4.42 out of 10) as well as low motivation (4.09 out of 10).  They also received the lowest score, worldwide, when it came to trusting the vision of their organisations’ leaders (3.65 out of 10).
The survey was carried out by the Wall Street Journal and iOpener Institute for People and Performance amongst 2,000 workers across 80 different countries and representing over 30 sectors of the global economy.   The survey calculated five tested components that lead to happiness at work; contribution, conviction, culture, commitment and confidence.    
The British are one of the happiest nationalities at work too, scoring at or above average on all measures of commitment (5.14 out of 10), culture (5.34 out of 10) and pride at work (5.22).    This was in contrast to their Irish colleagues who scored in the bottom three for commitment (4.76 out of 10), culture (4.62 out of 10) and pride (4.45 out of 10), citing disliking their jobs ("like job” = 4.46 out of 10) and not appreciating their organisations’ values (4.03 out of 10).
Germans came out on top for feelings of commitment (5.49 out of 10), culture (5.58 out of 10) and pride (5.13 out of 10) in their organisations and rated the fairness of workplace cultures (5.90 out of 10) and liking their jobs (5.98 out of 10) and colleagues highly (6.02 out of 10).
Jobs that  make you happy
The survey also revealed the happiest jobs in the world.  Consultants, educators and healthcare providers all scored highly across all happiness measures, but particularly in areas of motivation (6.01, 6.08, 5.82 out of 10 respectively) and engagement (58.6%, 64.1%, 60.0% of the time); they felt their work had a positive impact on the world (5.87, 6.88, 6.89 out of 10) and that they were doing something worthwhile (5.85, 7.21, 7.01 out of 10).    These sectors also reported high levels of trust (6.41, 5.40, 5.26 out of 10) and pride (6.10, 5.93, 5.57 out of 10) in their organisations and recognition (6.37, 5.45, 5.22 out of 10) from their organisations.
However, employees in the financial sector and in accounting were identified as the least happy workers due to low levels of motivation (4.56 out of 10), engagement (46.0% of the time) and confidence (4.51 out of 10).    Respondents in these sectors also cited an inability to raise issues at work (4.50 out of 10) and low feelings of job security (4.70 out of 10).
Says Dr Simon Lutterbie of the iOpener Institute for People and Performance, "These findings give a global insight into performance in the workplace: the happier people are, the more productive they are.  Moreover when comparing the unhappiest and happiest people at work, employees who are really happy at work tend to stay about five times longer in their jobs, are focused on the task at hand three times longer and take around three times less sick leave.”  
Other findings from the survey included that happiness at work increases with age, but you might have to wait for it. Beyond 40, happiness at work increased steadily through to the 60+ age group.   Interestingly feelings of being able to efficiently get things done decreased steadily across the 21-50 age groups before returning above average for those 51+.
Also respondents who described themselves as vice presidents and senior vice presidents scored lower than average on the majority of items measuring happiness at work, but scored above average in their ability to raise issues and feeing that their views were listened to.  They also scored highly in resilience.