Only 12 per cent of employees feel happy in their job

After Blue Monday has rolled round, new research finds only 12 per cent of us are completely happy with our jobs.

As Blue Monday hits the UK workforce, Sodexo Engage has unveiled new research that suggests happiness at work is lacking on more than just ‘the most depressing day of the year’. When asked if their job makes them happy, only 12 per cent of respondents could strongly agree to this statement.

Perhaps worse still, 8 per cent of respondents strongly disagree with the statement ‘my job makes me happy’. Whilst happiness is a complex emotion, it is well established that combined with emotional engagement productivity and a better workplace culture, employees will deliver much stronger results for employers.

The research also finds:

  • 23 per cent of respondents felt as though their needs are not considered in the workplace
  • Only a fifth (20 per cent) of respondents said they completely understand their employers’ bigger business goals
  • 18 per cent of male respondents were unable to say that they’re happy in their job, vs 20 per cent of female respondents

Employers must use the opportunity of Blue Monday to encourage open, honest and appropriate conversations about employee engagement at work. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is also commercially sensible too.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveals 526,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2016/17. In the same year, 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. Whilst happiness may not be at the crux of these complex conditions, it is still an important area for managers to monitor and to flag any concerns.

Iain Thomson, director of incentive and recognition at Sodexo Engage, comments, ‘When employees​ ​put​ ​their​ ​heart, ​​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​their​ ​head,​ ​into​ ​working​ ​for​ ​you,​ ​they​ ​give​ ​a​ ​whole​ ​lot​ ​more. We hope that employers, managers and HR can communicate an open door policy to anyone feeling stressed, anxious or unhappy at work – not only on ‘Blue Monday’, but throughout the entire year. That doesn’t mean brazenly asking everyone the question ‘are you happy?’. Instead, it’s about really listening to the people you work with every day and recognising if more can be done to support and improve their quality of life.’

Further reading on feeling happy

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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Employee happiness