The Indeed Happiness Report has been published for 2022 and it’s showing some interesting information about what employees are seeking from their workplace.

A key finding was that stress, lack of satisfaction and happiness are the leading reasons why people are looking for new opportunities with 40% of respondents saying their expectation around happiness at work has increased in just the last year.

Paired with this is that 38% feel that they aren’t paid fairly for their work, 26% feel that they’re not satisfied with their job, 25% say they feel stressed most of the time when at work and 23% don’t feel happy at work most of the time.  

89% of people report that work impacts their happiness at home, 85% believe work can provide more than just a payslip and 81% believe it is important to find companies that care about how you feel. This has lead to the following conclusion being drawn: ‘How we feel at work impacts our entire life – and most of us believe companies should care about it’.

This is an important conclusion for employers and employees to understand. Employers need to understand that work is a massive part of our lives, and that happiness needs to be a priority to have an engaged and thriving workforce. Employees need to realise that if they’re not happy at work, it’s okay to do something about it. Being happy at work is clearly something that matters and if a workplace cannot make you happy, it might be time to revaluate where you are.

‘[R]esearch shows that feeling energised, a sense of belonging and trust continue to have a higher influence on happiness, stress, satisfaction and purpose levels.’ When answering the survey, people thought that being paid fairly (33%), having flexibility (17%) and feeling included (8%) would be the most important aspects to work.

However, the actual answers show something very different. Only 6% of respondents said that being paid fairly was important and 5% said that flexibility matters to them. Inclusion is still sitting at 8% but Energy (18%), belonging (17%) and Trust (9%) came out on top showing that what actually matters to people isn’t what companies think matters.

Pay and flexibility will always be important to people but now employees are expecting more from workplaces. ‘People feel that individual happiness at work is a shared responsibility between individuals and the organisation, with managers having a critical role’.

“For those who reported having a low level of ‘wellbeing’ at work, 25% said that they’re likely to stay at their current employer for the next 12 months”

In the survey, respondents were asked to rate who is responsible for an individuals happiness at work. They could allocated 100 points across different options. The highest number at 36% was individuals themselves showing that employees understand that they are partially responsible for their happiness while are work.

However, they also said that managers responsible for their direct reports (22%), top management responsible for the entire organisation (16%), the CEO (11%), human resources (11%) and other (3%) also have responsibility. This shows that while individuals understand that they are mainly responsible for their happiness at work, they only have so much control. All the above factors have a responsibility in making sure employees are happy and, based on the above results, this isn’t happening.

The survey found that 88% of people believe that stress at work can significantly decrease quality of life, 61% agree that experiencing stress debilitates performance and productivity and 56% agree that experiencing stress inhibits learning and growth.

The survey looked closely at the impact of stress and asked respondents to show how stress effects their work. 53% said that they lose the ability to concentrate, 46% said they make more mistakes, 44% get less motivated to do their best work and 33% express themselves poorly when talking to colleagues/clients.

From the above, it’s easy to see how being can stressed can really impact someone’s work life. Having these happen as a result of stress means that employees will get more stressed and further slip into these habits meaning their work standards begin to slip and their manager might have to step in, leading to more stress and impacted wellbeing.

The cause of stress was also asked in this survey. 53% said that the nature of their work can be stressful and 50% said they often have to deal with tight deadlines. Knowing that these are the top reasons for workplace stress means that employers can begin to do something about this.

Realistically, deadlines and the nature of work cannot be changed. However, the way that workplaces reward and motivate staff can be. Changing the way the workplace sees their employees is important to fix high stress levels and have a more effective work force.

For those who reported having a low level of ‘wellbeing’ at work, 25% said that they’re likely to stay at current employer for the next 12 months, 11% said that their company believes employee wellbeing and happiness = being successful and 9% report that the company is measuring wellbeing.

This is a stark contrast compared to those who reported having a higher level of ‘wellbeing’ at work. Of those respondents, 87% said that they were likely to stay at their current employer for the next 12 months, 76% said that their company believes employee wellbeing and happiness = business success and 60% report the company is measuring wellbeing.

This shows that looking after employees and having a good employee wellbeing programmes is massively important to staff retention and happiness. It also shows that employees notice if an employer is monitoring their mental health. Only 44% of people report that their company is measuring happiness and wellbeing. This needs to change.

Wellbeing is something that workplaces are being judged on, 78% of people report that it is important to see information related to employee wellbeing when considering working at a company. This is more than three quarters of potential employees looking at what a company offers them, other than the usual benefits. Employers need to step up to make sure they’re catering to the needs of job seekers and retaining their current work force.

If you’re current employer isn’t meeting your needs, why not see what someone else can offer you HERE.

If you’re struggling to have a positive frame of mind, the NHS website has some great advice to support you with this.