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Key Take Aways

1.  Happiness with work environment has decreased consecutively the last 4 years.

This is a sad trend to see.  Each year happiness has dropped by a few percentage points, but lower happiness leads to less productivity, which leads to weak economic growth.  Bad signs all around.

2.  These are the top things that lead to employee job satisfaction.

Each point represents the percentage of employees whose work exhibits these characteristics and feel they are happy with their work.  Ie 63% of workers who feel their jobs are secure report happiness at work.

  • Secure jobs 63%
  • Benefits 60%
  • Compensation/pay 57%
  • Opportunities to use skills and abilities 55%
  • Feeling safe in the work environment 54%
  • Relationship with supervisor 52%
  • The work itself 50%
  • Independence 47%
  • Work-Life balance 46%
  • Corporate Culture 45%

3.  Engaged organizations have the potential to reduce staff turnover by 87 percent and improve performance by 20%.

Seems like a win/win for both employees and employers.  The workers stay happy and the employer makes money.

4.  Top 5 Happiest Careers.

  • Biotechnology worker
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Teacher
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Buyer

This came as a surprise to me.  Three out of the five are low paying, individual contributor positions.   Secondly, customer service and teaching never came to me as enjoyable jobs, but maybe the summer vacations and the feeling of helping others contributes to their happiness.

5.  Each happy friend increases a person’s chance of being happy by 18%

I’ve heard similar things about fat friends increasing their social circle’s chance of being fat, so this makes sense as well.  I certainly tend to surround myself with other happy people, and I feel better as a result.

Your Turn

What has the greatest impact on your work happiness?

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39 thoughts on “Office Bliss (An Infographic on Work-Life Happiness)

  1. Hi Bryce,
    I Have never had an office job, but I did start my career as a Public School Teacher in Boston. I left a seventeen-year career of teaching to become a wonderfully obsessed entrepreneur. As I consciously create this new epoch in my life – book author – I consider harmony in human relationships and peace of mind as two of my top values. What I loved about teaching and now, as a wonderfully obsessed author is feeling like I am contribution and making a difference in peoples live. That, I believe is a universal value we all seek in our own unique way.

  2. Bryce – That is really sad to know that the work-happiness is in a decreasing trend. I think people are slowly considering to start their own business or blog (:-0) rather than working for someone else.
    My biggest motivating factor at work would be the vision of getting to the top of my line of management at the earliest possible time. It just keeps me grounded here.

  3. Bryce: So fun! I love these. But customer service? Really? All I can figure is that they only talked to the customer service folks at Zappos. Isn’t that the happiest place on earth? Oh wait, I think that’s Disney World. Hmmmm.

    Okay, Disney, Zappos, Nordstrom, Southwest Airline. I guess there are a lot of places that make customers feel like the employees are happy to be there and happy to be of service.

    Nice post, fun stuff.
    Kathy

  4. Bryce Christiansen

    That’s a good point. Teaching can be a rewarding field if the teacher values making a difference in peoples lives.

    There are some incredibly giving people in the world who would be fulfilled by a career in teaching quite easily.

    Personally, I find teaching a tough career, and would be more fulfilled helping others through a system of my own, like this blog.

    I feel for teachers, but at least it’s good to know that they may have one of the happiest jobs out there.

  5. Bryce Christiansen

    I think you are right. The last couple years have shown us that any company can fail, and we are risking our livelihoods if we don’t take responsibility for our own careers.

    Like you said, some have turned to blogs and sites as a result or starting their own business.

    Sad trend. Hopefully it will move up again soon.

    Bryce

  6. Bryce Christiansen

    I was shocked by the same thing. Don’t customer service folks get yelled at most the day and have to deal with everyone else’s problems.

    How can that make you happy? I haven’t been in a direct role like that in my career, but maybe there has been more progress in this career than I realized.

    I learn something new everyday.

    Thanks for sharing and for the comment,

    Bryce

  7. Hi Bryce, This is a fascinating study, well-presented. I can’t say I’m surprised by the results. As people feel increasingly insecure about their current employment, I can’t imagine people are satisfied.

    As companies continue to cut costs, they’re also cutting their investments in employees. Social events become regarded as “boondoggles”, even ones that wouldn’t be considered a splurge in previous years.

    Companies should consider investing in more social events and including families. When an employee leaves a job, the spouse is usually in on the decision. Investing in families as well as the employee makes the employee feel more secure.

    But in these tough economic times there is only so much money in the budget to go around.

  8. Hi Bryce,

    Interesting! I was also a teacher for 14 years. I agree with Rob that people are happy in this job because you feel like you are making a contribution and a difference in peoples lives.

    Working with kids can be stressful, but the rewards are great when you see a child succeed. I also enjoyed working with my students I appreciated their individuality. Teachers don’t have the worry that the company will go under. After you have been teaching for a number of years, as long as you are doing a good job, you will be employed.

  9. Anna

    I am so jealous of people that have their hobby as their work. This would definitely contribute to my happiness too.

  10. Bryce Christiansen

    I like your suggestions Carolyn, especially the one about families.

    Sometimes the spouse has just as much if not more say on whether a career move is necessary or not.

    One thing that really made my career change over to the Balanced WorkLife Company memorable was how they treated my wife and I.

    Before I even had my first day here, they sent us a basket of fruit. I was shocked when I read the note and it was from the company I was about to start with.

    If more companies treated their employees family’s like valuable contributors to the company, work place happiness I’m sure would be much better.

    Bryce

  11. Bryce Christiansen

    Hi Cathy,

    I am starting to see what you and Rob got out of teaching.

    I always felt for my friends who were teachers because they were over worked and not paid enough for what they did. However, not having to worry about the company going under, or losing a job even when you are doing good work, can be motivating.

    Of course, the best reward are the children themselves. It’s becoming more clear now why this career could be up there.

    Bryce

  12. Bryce Christiansen

    That’s always helpful. Having a career in line with your values and hobbies is a win win.

  13. Wow – I’m shocked by the 5 happiest careers. Especially customer service representative because I always imagine that they get the brunt end of an unhappy customer. I imagine they have to be very good at what they do to be happy with their jobs. The same goes with teachers and administrative assistants. I think you can be happy in what you do if you feel you are good at what you do and can take pride in it and are recognized by those around you. Very interesting post and a little disheartening as well. Thank you! ~ Suerae

  14. Hi Bryce, I’m sure that fruit basket meant a lot to you and your wife. You probably started the job with quite a bit more confidence that you were making the right choice.

    A job affects the entire family and when a company realizes that and shows its appreciation, that’s money well invested.

    I have a friend whose husband’s former employer (he’s retired now) used to give the wives of the top executives (this was the olden days when all the top executives were male) a gift from Tiffany’s for the holidays. Each wife felt very special, so if ever a husband said he was thinking about leaving the company, you could bet his wife would try to talk him out of it!

  15. Bryce Christiansen

    Yeah I felt the same way. Rob and Cathy had great comments as each of them had over a decade of teaching experience and both felt happy in their jobs.

    I have a friend in customer service who seems to enjoy it as well. I guess looking at these jobs from the outside in might give us a worse impression than what they really are.

    Sorry about bringing forward the depressing news, I promise my next one will be lighter.

    Bryce

  16. Bryce Christiansen

    Wow, I don’t hear those kind of stories often these days. What a great way to show appreciation.

    Often our spouses are a major contributor to our own production at work. They give us support, help out where we are weak, and are a sounding board for our problems.

    They deserve some recognition.

    Bryce

  17. Hello,
    These are great models and an interesting study.
    Didn’t know that customer service representative careers were considered happy.
    The greatest impact on work happiness for me is interaction with other workers, connecting with them, and never lose sight of enjoying the ride.

  18. Bryce,

    Thank you so much for this fun post. I actually work for CareerBliss.com. We are all about helping others lead happier lives by finding happiness in the workplace. I saw this infographic while I was browsing and I just had to comment.

    For those of you that are still quite unsure about customer service being the top 5 happiest positions, make sure to check this out: http://www.careerbliss.com/job-reviews/by-title/?title=customer+service

    Again, thanks for such a fun post!

    Cheers!
    Reyna Ramli

  19. I’m with Kathy. CSR’s? I would only be happy as a Cust Service Rep if I worked for business like Mercedes, Baskin Robbins, or Apple and got their products for free. LOL.

    ~Allie

  20. Bryce Christiansen

    Hey Ryan,

    Good to have you here. We all are finding the customer service happiness a bit perplexing.

    Career Bliss themselves came back and posted a link explaining their finding. I’ll be looking at it and commenting here as well.

    Hope to have you back in the future.

    Bryce

  21. Bryce Christiansen

    Hi Reyna,

    Great to have you here as well. Thanks for the comment as well. It’s great to hear from someone close to the source.

    I checked out your site and was impressed with the directory your team has built. It certainly would make for an interesting followup post.

    Thanks,

    Bryce

  22. Bryce,

    I showed your kind comment to our marketing department and we would love to feature a followup post for your blog if you’re interested.

    Let me know!! Have a fantastic weekend!

    Cheers!
    Reyna
    CareerBliss.com

  23. Personally, my love for the job itself creates the greatest impact for my happiness on work. I can’t be productive without the drive that gives me satisfaction for completing the tasks entailed. If you love your work, you can last a lifetime! So I think why CSR ranked second on the survey is because people doing it actually enjoy being around consumers and making them happy too, huh?

  24. Bryce Christiansen

    Thanks Amy,

    Good to see a new face. Hope to see you again in the future.

    Bryce

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