One in four UK employees say that work makes them unhappy – and one in 10 say they don’t have a single good day at work each week.
A third of the employees surveyed worked in banking, and the results provide an insight into one of the most fast-changing sectors, say the researchers from work psychologists Robertson Cooper and the Bank Workers Charity (BWC) .
The What is a Good Day At Work? report discovered that employees often didn’t know the “non-office” factors that helped create a good day at work – including a good work-life balance, getting fresh air during the day, making time for lunch and improving energy levels.
The authors are urging employers to help create better work environments. Purely on a business level they help, they suggest, by increasing productivity, lowering sickness rates and improving customer relationships.
Robertson Cooper psychologist Paula Brockwell, said: “The survey data enabled us to identify correlations between influencers, such as technology, management style, workplace relationships and conversations, and their impact on people’s physical and emotional energy levels.
“Our research showed that your energy levels – physical and emotional – were the biggest contributors to whether or not you were having a good day at work.”
Some 50% of bank workers reported that technology makes them angry or slows them down at work.
Management styles impacted heavily on happiness levels: those who weren’t happy at work stated they had a results-focused manager (84%) and 42% reported not having an accessible manager. In turn, people who have more good days at work were more likely to feel supported (91%), and talk about how they were feeling (61%).
Paula said: “Work is no longer about just getting the job done. We need to ask ourselves more often, ‘did I have a good day at work’? It’s a simple question but it’s linked to a broad concept of employee wellbeing, including physical and emotional energy, health, sustainable job satisfaction and performance.
“For employers, it’s essentially going back to basics, by prioritising people’s physical and emotional energy as the starting point and being confident that performance will follow.”
“What we need organisations to understand is that employee wellbeing is intrinsically linked to business priorities. Business goals cannot be met if people are not happy, healthy and thriving.”
Whilst the research – which surveyed 1,500 UK adults in the private and public sector – highlighted room for improvement, more than half (57%) of people said that work makes them happy.