Employee Engagement: Unhappiness at Work

While today may be ‘International Day of Happiness’, new research from Lee Hecht Harrison | Penna shows that many employees within the UK are struggling to look on the bright side. The survey by the global people management business shows that over a third (36%) of employees view work in negative terms.

The research found that 14% associate work with being unhappy, while nearly one in 10 (9%) would go as far to describe their work as simply “horrible”.

Anxiety was also found to be a common cause of employee upset, with a fifth (20%) claiming their work caused them stress and angst. It was also found to be a greater problem among women, with a quarter (25%) describing their work as anxiety inducing, compared to just 16% of men.

Despite people from the Capital being less likely to switch off with 68% checking work emails in the evening or weekends, London is home to the happiest employees with just 31% describing work negatively. While the country’s unhappiest workforce can be found in the South West where four in 10 (42%) struggle to find any positives.

Nick Goldberg, CEO UK & Ireland of Lee Hecht Harrison | Penna, commented on the research: “With our working life and private life becoming increasingly integrated, negativity and unhappiness at work can easily spill over and become all consuming. While it is encouraging to see that 38% of employees have only positive things to say about work, our research also shows that more needs to be done by both the employee and employer to improve workplace happiness. Today marks a good day for employees to ask themselves if they are truly happy at work, and if not ask themselves why and what steps they can take to address it.”

Nick Goldberg, CEO UK & Ireland of LHH Penna, has put together tips on how to be happier at work:

  • Prioritise your personal life – Make sure you have other activities in your life beside work to help detract from any negativity. After work and on the weekends, make sure you switch off both mentally and physically and spend time doing the things you love most.
  • Take initiative – If you’re finding work repetitive and boring, proactively seek out opportunities for work to become more diverse, whether that’s asking for a secondment in another division, taking on new responsibilities or volunteering yourself for training. Your employer will also commend you for being so proactive.
  • Be honest –If you’re committed to making a change, then find a time to sit down and chat to someone senior about the cause of your grievances. The likelihood is that they will want to do all within their powers to help make work a happier place for you.
  • Change can be good – If you are unhappy at work then take matters into your own hands. While changing your career or job may seem like a daunting prospect, it could be the major change you need to be truly happy again at work.
  • Start to socialise – We spend the majority of our lives within the office, therefore building strong relationships with your colleagues can help to add comic relief or serve as a support system when you’re having a difficult day.

More Incentive and Motivation News:

Take a look at other categories across our site to find out more about employee engagement, rewards and benefits. Employee Engagement | Employee Benefits | Employee Reward and Recognition | New Launches | Interviews and Case Studies | Marketing and Loyalty

Don’t forget we’re social too! Find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.