Salespeople are the unhappiest workers in Britain's small businesses

LAUNCHPAD: Hammering the telephone must take its toll - 58% of small business salespeople are fed up with their job.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 29 May 2014

No one likes a pushy salesperson, but it looks like most people hammering the telephones in small businesses don’t actually like what they do either.

A poll of more than 1,000 staff in companies with less than 50 employees found 58% of those working in sales were unhappy at work, followed by 51% of people in companies in the public sector and half of agricultural workers and PRs. On the sunnier side, only a quarter of staff in small engineering firms and charities said they were miserable.

The study, by office supplies company Viking, also found a distinct divide up north. Only 28% of people in small Yorkshire & Humber companies said they were unhappy, compared to half in the north east.

Interestingly, especially for those who think money cures all ills, the survey found 53% of staff thought their benefits weren’t up to scratch, a shade above the 51% who weren’t best pleased with the salary.

Two thirds weren’t happy with their company’s social events (although, with less than 50 employees, a small business can’t necessarily afford to fork out themselves). However, the main causes of feeling blue about work were a lack of job security and not being told about a company’s goals, both cited by 47% of respondents.

Unsurprisingly, most people said they were least productive on Mondays between 4-6pm. It gets better sharpish though – 10 until midday on a Tuesday was when people thought they were most productive.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Read like a CEO: James Reed

The recruitment boss discusses the books that give him business ideas and management inspiration.

What British business can learn from the French

Forget the cliches - our old rival is hotbed of management innovation and is leading...

Want to encourage more female leaders? Openly highlight their achievements

A study shows that publicly praising women not only increases their willingness to lead, their...

Message to Davos: Don't blame lack of trust on 'society'

The reason people don't trust you is probably much closer to home, says public relations...

Dame Cilla Snowball: Life after being CEO

One year on from stepping back as boss of Britain's largest advertising agency, Dame Cilla...

How to change people's minds when they refuse to listen

Research into climate change deniers shows how behavioural science can break down intransigence.