‘Meaningful work and location more important than high pay’ for UK staff

The happiest employers work in diverse workplaces and find that doing meaningful work is more important to them than salary.

A survey of 1,000 employees in UK, US, France and Germany by project management software specialist Wrike, found that the most satisfied staff enjoyed their collaboration with team members but also valued the balance between home and work and benefited from an environment where their employers put technology in place to support their home/work balance.

The study asked questions relating to culture, pay and collaboration. In the UK, office location was reported as the second most crucial factor in work happiness with meaningful work as the most important factor.

However, a fifth of UK adults (19%) reported being unhappy in their job with the UK third, behind the US and Germany, in terms of happiness.

“The nature of work is changing, and with it, employers must also evolve their strategies for building happy and engaged workforces,” said Wrike vice president of people operations Megan Barbier.

“It’s time to update our assumptions on what drives happiness so that businesses can truly invest in what matters most to their employees. That requires building an environment where teams can collaborate effectively, regardless of location, to complete work that has meaning and resonates with their values.”

For chartered business psychologist Portia Hickey, the finding that 54% of UK employees had taken a lower paid role in search of happiness was particularly interesting. She said: “This should serve as a wake-up call for employers – if your staff aren’t happy, they will consider going elsewhere, no matter how much you pay them.

“In my experience, organisations often don’t have the language to communicate the purpose of the company, or how each role feeds into the wider business goals. If companies want their staff to be happy, they need to find the words to articulate the purpose of the company and the role that everyone plays in achieving the wider business goals.”

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