Society Magazine

Average Working Adult Just 59% Happy in Current Career

Posted on the 18 April 2013 by 72point @72hub

The average working adult is 59% happy in their current job role, research has revealed. Researchers asked 2,000 employees to rate their level of contentment at work across 11 key areas, from pay and company perks to relationships with colleagues and the management team.

The study found workers are generally happy with their holiday allowance and relationship with colleagues – rating both categories as seven out of ten.

Perks received the lowest score (4/10), with employees believing they should be entitled to benefits such as mobile phones, laptops and even private health care.

Opportunities for promotion are also one of the things which the panel expressed unhappiness about, rated at a modest five out of 10.

Ann Haydon, Principal at Surbiton High School, which conducted the study, said:

”At a time when job stability is uncertain in many companies, it is encouraging that people feel relatively satisfied with their position in the workplace.

”And when it comes to the areas people are least unhappy with, it turns out company perks and the ability to progress up the career ladder are more of a concern than aspects such as pay or holiday time.

”For many people, happiness at work is determined by what they can get out of the job – such as achieving and making a difference – than how much money they see at the end of the month, values that we try to teach our pupils.”

The study also found workers gave all other areas – such as level of pay, relationship with the boss and current work load – a six out of ten.

This rating also applied to working hours, the working environment, social life, size of team and hierarchy.

As well as being asked to rate certain areas of the job, respondents were asked to name other aspects which were important to them at work.

14% claimed they would be happier if they were allowed regular tea breaks, while 34% liked to be able to manage their own work load.

One in three said they liked the feeling of being able to make a difference, while 22% wanted to be able to talk to people every day.

An easy commute was also important to 35% of people, while 18% said they would appreciate yearly bonuses.

Researchers also cut the data by profession, to explore exactly which trade is most content in their career.

Surprisingly, teachers emerged as the happiest overall at work.

Despite overwhelming admin tasks and occasional grumbles about pay, most teachers claimed the level of satisfaction they gained from working with children far outweighed the negatives.

More than eight out of ten teachers claimed to love their job, and so rated all areas highly.

In particular, teachers were particularly happy with the quantity of holiday time, their relationships with their colleagues and the environment in which they work.

The least favourable parts of the job for teachers were the lack of company perks, and issues with rising up the career ladder – but despite this, teachers claimed to be happy at least 67% of the time during the working day.

Secretaries have the second most favourable jobs, scoring aspects such as their relationship with the boss and their work load highly.

Engineers took third place, with accountants and drivers taking fourth and fifth respectively.

Ann Haydon added:

”I thought the Happiest Profession ranking was very interesting, and of course noted with interest that teaching came out as number one.

”I believe most teachers would agree teaching truly is a rewarding job, and what really makes it so is seeing our commitment to education then go on to produce well rounded individuals who lead happy, successful and fulfilling lives.”

Surbiton High School carried out the study in line with their reputation for encouraging children to achieve and aspire to be successful.


Pay – 6 out of 10
Relationship with colleagues – 7 out of 10
Current opportunities – 5 out of 10
Holiday allowance – 7 out of 10
Relationship with the boss – 6 out of 10
Current work load – 6 out of 10
Company perks (phone, laptop etc.) – 4 out of 10
Working environment – 6 out of 10
Work social life – 6 out of 10
Working hours – 6 out of 10
Hierarchy – 6 out of 10
Size of team – 6 out of 10


1.    Teacher
2.    Secretary
3.    Engineer
4.    Accountant
5.    Driver
6.    Shop Assistant
7.    Caterer
8.    Tradesman e.g. builder, plumber, carpenter
9.    Lawyer / solicitor
10.    Customer care / call centre

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