1/3 of the British workforce unhappy at work

Gov.uk states that there are 32,200,000 people working in the UK

According to a survey we commissioned this year, 1/3 Of The British Workforce Unhappy At Work, we found:

  • 34.2% of employed Brits don’t enjoy their jobs
  • 25.4% have been made to feel left out in the workplace
  • 23.1% have been bullied at work
  • 12.5% have experienced sexual harassment in the office
  • 4,000 people Google search ‘I hate my job’ in the UK every year

As part of research into what businesses can do to become better workplaces, we found that a shocking 1 in 3 employed brits do not enjoy their current job.  It was important for us to understand the causes of job dissatisfaction and low levels of motivation in the workplace, both of which ultimately lead to resignations and dismissals.

We know that employee retention is extremely important for businesses. High turnover levels are not just costly, but also have a negative impact on company morale and reputation. In 2017, XpertHR reported that employee resignations in the UK had reached an all-time high at 15.5% – meaning 1 in 7 employees had left a job in that year alone.

Our survey found interesting regional disparities of job satisfaction across the UK, such as 75.2% in the South East, compared to just 54.3% in Wales. When asked what motivates our participants most in the workplace, unsurprisingly salary came out on top, with 49.7% stating this as their most important motivator. But it wasn’t all about money – second to salary,  flexible working, having a nice boss and a short commute were the top 3 voted motivators.

  • Flexible hours – 34.4%
  • A nice boss – 32.2%
  • Short commute – 30.3%

Our survey also evidenced that in this day and age, flexible working is essential to attract and retain staff. With more and more companies choosing to ditch the strict ‘bums on seats’ approach, the regimented 9 – 5 working day appears outdated to be outdated. When surveyed on this, 34.4% of participants viewed flexible working hours as their most important work motivator. This was closely followed by the ability to work from home, appealing to 22.7% participants, and the option to work remotely, enticing 20.1%.

Most of our participants care more about having a boss they like and get on with, than they do about having a boss whos more knowledgable than them.

In addition to this, working in a company with aligned values proved important to 26.2% of all participants, suggesting that a pleasurable office environment is what employees are really after…

Gov.uk states that there are 32,200,000 people working in the UK. 34.2% of that is 11,012,400 – so we can equate that to an estimated 11 million British employees who are unhappy at work.

We spoke to members of the British public to get a better understanding of the impacts different working environments have on individuals.  An employee who preferred to remain anonymous explained why she disliked working at her previous company:

“In the most toxic workplace I’d ever experienced, colleagues weren’t made aware when people were joining or leaving the company, let alone taking the time to introduce or properly induct them. Despite having a ‘flexible working policy’ it quickly became clear that only worked for senior members of staff, juniors were expected to be on call whenever needed, it was common to receive emails at 4 am.”

Monisha Gohil, Senior Digital PR Account Executive at Datadial comments on her experience working in a company she enjoys:

“Staff are able to work flexibly meaning I can make more of my evenings and downtime if I wake up one or two hours earlier. Aside from doing genuinely interesting work that I’m passionate about, I guess the biggest motivator to come into work is the people. It’s a very diverse and inclusive office and although I am the youngest, I am given responsibility and treated like the adult I am”

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