UK workers fail to look on the sunny side

A quarter of employees say they're 'distinctly unhappy', according to a survey. Happy Monday...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 18 Oct 2011
It’s just our luck, isn’t it, that after the sunniest September/October transition in history (down South, anyway), someone wades in to ruin everyone’s happy, hazy, slightly sunburned weekend with a sodding great chunk of doom and gloom. We give you recruitment consultant Badenoch & Clark, which has today released the results of its Happiness Index – and if you have even the tiniest amount of happy glow left in you, stop reading now. Apparently, only a third of workers are happy in their current job – while a quarter say they’re ‘distinctly unhappy’. Doesn’t bode well for businesses if quarter of their workforce is miserable, does it?

According to Badenoch & Clarke, happiness at work has been steadily plummeting since the beginning of the year. While 2011 kicked of with a fairly chirpy 47% saying they’re happy at work, that had slid to just under 41% by March, and has now dropped to just over a third. On the bright side, just under 40% are ‘somewhat happy’ (aka. indifferent). It’s hard to say whether this unhappiness is to do with people’s actual jobs, though, or whether it’s more to do with the general malaise that’s affected everything from the equity markets to business confidence. Nonetheless: apparently, the cheeriest locations are London, with almost 40% of happy workers, with the West Midlands and the East close behind. Badenoch & Clark reckons it’s something to do with investment during the Olympics. Well, it’s nothing to do with the transport system...

This all correlates depressingly closely with a similarly miserable survey, published last week by uSwitch, which found that the UK has the ‘worst quality of life in Europe’, with the second-lowest number of hours of sunshine (difficult to believe after this weekend, eh?), the fourth-highest retirement age, and the third-lowest spend on health as a percentage of GDP. So much for the ‘I heart the NHS’ campaign. And with 5.5 fewer holidays than our European counterparts, it’s not entirely surprising that just 5% of those surveyed in the UK admitted to being happy.

Depressing enough? No? It’s supposed to start raining again on Thursday

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