66% Of Employees Say Work Life Balance Is What Makes Them Happy

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Data from Drewberry’s 2023 Employee Benefits and Workplace Satisfaction survey has shown that despite the difficult times people are facing, the majority of UK workers are happy at work.

In association with YouGov, we surveyed 1,000 UK employees from SME’s and found that 66% of respondents were happy in their jobs.

Work-Life Balance & Colleagues Make Employees Happy

When asked what makes employers happy, work-life balance (66%) topped the list. This was closely followed by colleagues (62%).

  • Work-life balance (66%)
  • Colleagues (62%)
  • Challenge and stimulation (46%)
  • Income & Bonuses (46%).

It’s clear that peoples priorities have changed over the years. In our 2018 Employee Benefits Survey only 49% of employees said that work-life balance was what made them happy. This may be a result of the pandemic as workers reevaluated what’s important to them.

Employees Aren’t Planning To Leave Their Jobs

With the majority of people being happy in their jobs, unsurprisingly 76% of respondents said that they weren’t looking to move jobs in the next 12 months.

This is great news for employers as having a happy workforce comes with many advantages. It can reduce sickness levels, prevent high turnover and even increase productivity. In fact, just being happy can increase productivity by 13%.

What Makes Staff Unhappy?

Although the majority of staff are happy, it would be a mistake to forget about the 35% of respondents who said they weren’t (15%) or those that neither agreed or disagreed (19%) with the statement ‘are you happy in your job?’.

According to Perkbox disengaged and unhappy staff are costing the UK economy £340 billion every year. This is through things such as lost training, recruitment costs, sick days and presenteeism. In order to improve this it’s important to understand what makes employees unhappy.

Top Causes Of Employee Unhappiness: Pay, Lack of Recognition & Poor Work-Life Balance

We asked what were the top causes for making employees unhappy. Being underpaid (46%) was the most popular response, this has moved up from second place in our 2021 survey where only 40.7% listed it as their main cause for unhappiness. This was followed by lack of:

  • Recognition (36%)
  • Work-life balance (32%)
  • Support (32%)
  • Progression (32%).

Happiness Is Key To Keeping Top Talent

Of those who were unhappy, 73% said that they were looking for a new job in the next 12 months. This highlights how important it is to keep employees happy at work.

Getting regular feedback from your employees can help you tailor your rewards and benefits package to align with what really makes a difference to them. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune either. The top three causes for employees happiness are all free to implement.

After pay, work-from-home options and work environment were listed as the two main benefits which would attract employees to a job role. By not listening to what staff need, businesses could find them losing top talent. It’s not just about offering good salaries anymore. Employees want to feel valued and happy in their place of work.

Joe Toft, health & wellbeing expert at Drewberry

For extra support with your employee benefits, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 02074425880 or via email at help@drewberry.co.uk.

Our experts can help you create a benefits package that improves work life balance.

Joseph Toft
Senior Consultant, Employee Benefits

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