January is the season of new beginnings, which in many cases means reconsidering the old and introducing the new. For several that means taking a second look at their jobs and what makes for a happy career.
However, new research announced by Jobbio, has found that more than two fifths of employed Brits think their job will be obsolete in as little as ten years, compared to over a third of those in the US.
Perhaps this is the effect of the January blues following Brits in to the workplace, as the Happiness Index*, created by Jobbio, the leading careers marketplace, revealed that in particular Brits think roles such as travel agents, telemarketers and factory workers will all become obsolete, with more than a quarter employed talent on both sides of the pond in agreement.
Looking beyond the 10 year mark, the outlook of the future doesn’t look a lot better either. A little over two fifth of Brits (41%) think that we won’t retire until the ages of 70-74 in 2050 with less than a fifth (14%) thinking they will get to retire under the age of 65.
Yet when it comes to finding our ideal employment, Brits have a long list of requirements. Over half of Brits look for a more competitive salary (56%), flexible working hours (47%) and greater rewards (53%) from their employer.
In addition to this, the shorter the commute the better, as the dreaded daily commute also seems to have a significant influence on happiness at work. Over a third of Brits (36%) spend 45 minutes or more commuting and sadly for more than one in ten Brits, they spend at least an hour travelling to work.
Brits also seem to have a lot of objections with the working day itself. Day-to-day tasks such as meetings, were found to be the biggest office bug bear, with over a quarter (28%) confessing that meetings are the biggest waste of their time at work. Adding to this, nearly a fifth would prefer not to even chat with colleagues, as 17% found the interaction a waste of their time.
However, according to Brits, employees also need more flexibility and time outside of the office to reach ultimate workplace satisfaction. According to employees, the biggest improvements that the UK companies can implement, as their daily working practices, are flexible working hours (40%), utilising technology to make working more efficient (30%), shorter days (26%) and remote working (24%).
These findings are surprising in comparison to the US with nearly a third (32%) of American adults saying they are always happy with their work, even though the research found that the US workforce work longer hours and have less holiday than UK employees.
So what can improve the levels of happiness in our jobs? For both sides of the pond, employees are seeking a better work life balance, with 61% of Brits noting this a key component for a good employer, and over half (59%) in the US agree.
Stephen Quinn, CEO of Jobbio said: “Our Happiness Index shows a clear disparity between the US and UK pool of talent. It seems illogical that US employees are so much happier than UK workforce given they work longer hours and have shorter holidays.
“What is also intriguing is that even though US talent have less holiday, they use up less of their allowance too, whilst not being as concerned about their work-life balance when compared to UK talent.”
*Jobbio commissioned the research to create a Happiness Index, exploring happiness at work and attitude towards the future of work among over 2,000 employed adults across the UK and 2,000 employed adults in the US.
**Travel agent – UK 30%, US 29% / Telemarketers – UK 27%, US 31% / Factory workers – UK 27%, US 28%
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