Working more sociable hours, working fewer hours and someone simply saying ‘thank you’.

Working happier.

Public sector membership club Boundless has revealed statistics for this week’s National Work Life Week (October 7-11) which suggest money is not the only key to a happier work life. The research, polling over 2,000 UK workers in both the public and private sector, asked employees what would make them happier in their job.

A higher salary, perhaps not surprisingly, came out top on 67 per cent but other answers suggested a work-life balance and greater appreciation for the job they do are vitally important to happiness in the workplace.


The results showed:

  • Almost a quarter (23 per cent) said more sociable hours would make them happier in their job – which increases to almost 3 in 10 (27 per cent) for NHS workers and 4 in 10 (41 per cent) for police officers.
  • Almost three in ten (29 per cent) said working fewer hours would make them happier.
  • More than half (52 per cent) said being thanked, either by their boss or the public, would increase job satisfaction.
  • Only a third of fire fighters said more money would make them happier at work – being thanked by the public ranked just as highly.
  • Less than 8 per cent said nothing could make them happier in their job – but the figure was almost 11 per cent in education.
  • Those in the private sector were more focused on money (70 per cent) than those in the public sector (63 per cent).

“Of course money plays an important part in job satisfaction but in National Work Life Week we should really be considering what other issues need to be tackled to keep people happy at work,” said Boundless spokesperson Darren Milton. “Working more sociable hours and having a better work-life balance is clearly important to people, judging by our survey.

“In addition, more than half in the public sector say they feel under-appreciated and more than a quarter told us that being thanked by the public would make them happier in their work,” he added. “That’s higher than the result returned for working fewer hours – it’s something to think about during National Work Life Week.”


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