Late in 2018, a study conducted by The Wellbeing Lab, the Australian HR Institute and University of Melbourne academic Dr Peggy Kern investigated workplace happiness, with 19 per cent of employees Down Under reporting they were consistently thriving. The Wellbeing Lab Workplace Survey examined different industries and job roles, along with the factors that contribute to happiness in the workforce.
Consulting was the big winner in the industry category, with 42.9 per cent of workers in the sector claiming they were consistently thriving. They were followed by Electricity/Gas/Water/Waste Services with 35.3 per cent and Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing with 33.3 per cent, which interestingly, also recorded the highest proportion of employees really struggling (22.2 per cent). Accounting and Legal, both traditionally high paying professions, recorded two of the lowest rates for consistently thriving (10.7 per cent and 8.7 per cent respectively).
By job role
Unsurprisingly, Directors and those in C-Suite positions (Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Operating Officers etc) were largely satisfied, with 41.2 per cent and 40.3 per cent ticking the box for consistently thriving. Just 10.2 per cent of Sales/Customer Service workers felt the same way, while 15.3 per cent considered themselves really struggling, which was equal highest for that metric alongside C-Suite.
What are the factors?
When drilling down into what caused happiness in the workplace, several aspects were raised. At a higher level, happier employees were engaged with a level of autonomy and had strong relationships, which may come in the form of support from superiors and resilient colleagues. Tangible features, such as fruit bowls and services to promote physical and mental health, were also seen as important.
Was there anything else noteworthy?
South Australians are the happiest workers in the country, with 27 per cent of the state’s employees consistently thriving, while men (23.2 per cent) were happier at work more often than women (14.1 per cent).
You can find out where your profession landed on the spectrum here.