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Guardian Jobs ‘wellbeing in the workplace’ research 2016

Work-related stress, depression or anxiety affected almost half a million people last year, leading to 9.9 million lost working days

Numerous studies, including from Forbes and the Harvard Business Review have concluded that happy employees are around a third more creative and productive than unhappy employees. In comparison, work-related stress, depression or anxiety affected almost half a million people last year, leading to 9.9 million lost working days.

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, Guardian Jobs commissioned a nationally representative survey of over 1000 UK working adults, to find out what makes employees happy and what contributes most to their stress levels.

The research findings included:

  • Over a third (38%) of the UK workforce think that their workload is unmanageable
  • Over half (52%) of the UK workforce think stress is just a normal part of work nowadays
  • 30% of the UK workforce said that their productivity has suffered as a result of stress at work
  • 44% of the UK workforce said that their motivation has suffered as a result of stress at work
  • 59% said that stress has affected their home life/relationships to some degree

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However, the research did identify positive findings:

  • 59% believe their organisation is well managed
  • 65% believe their team is managed well
  • Most respondents were proud of where they work, feel trusted, feel they have the power to make positive change, are confident expressing their opinion and can be themselves.
  • The majority (48%) aren’t worried about redundancy.
  • 80% get along with their colleagues
  • 65% find their working environment pleasant.

So what can employers do to maintain a happy workplace?
Value, appreciate, reward: It seems that the majority of employees agreed that ‘Salary’, ‘Feeling valued’ and ‘Relationship with the team’ were the most important factors in maintaining their ‘happiness’ at work.

Around a quarter of the UK workforce do not believe they get regular useful feedback on their performance (26%) or have the opportunities to be creative (24%) or influence important decisions that affect their work (24%) – ensuring you are allowing all of these things can have a massive impact on happiness in the workplace.

Be flexible: Apart from part-time working, less than a quarter of the UK workforce say their employer offer flexible working practices (such as flexitime, compressed hours, job sharing, working from home or career breaks).

For more information on this research please visit http://recruiters.theguardian.com/blog/wellbeing-in-the-workplace-research-2016

Claire Knights
Guardian News & Media

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