Robert Half reveals the happiest countries for workers

June 27, 2017

An international study of employee happiness reveals UK employees have lower levels of happiness and interest but feel less stressed.

  • UK employees have lower levels of happiness and interest but feel less stressed
  • Employees in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands rank highest in terms of  on-the-job happiness 
  • German professionals express the highest level of interest in their jobs; Dutch workers have the least stress
  • Pride in one’s company is the top happiness driver in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada; being treated with fairness and respect is the top happiness driver in France, Belgium, Germany and Australia

London, UK, 27 June 2017 – The UK has one of lowest levels of staff satisfaction, ranking sixth in an international study of employee happiness, according to research released by global recruitment consultancy Robert Half. The results are published in a new report, It’s Time We All Work Happy®: The Secrets of the Happiest Companies and Employees. For the study, Robert Half worked with leading happiness and well-being expert Nic Marks of Happiness Works. Marks’ team evaluated the levels of employee happiness among more than 23,000 working professionals across Europe, North America and Australia. The report shows the United States, Germany and the Netherlands have the happiest employees among the countries included in the research, ranking 71.8, 71.2 and 69.9, respectively, on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the happiest. The countries studied with the lowest levels of employee happiness are France (63.8), Belgium (65.2) and the United Kingdom (67.2).

Employee happiness by country

(Scores are based on an index from 0 to 100, where 0 is the worst possible outcome and 100 the most favourable)

Country

Happiness ranking

Average

68.1

United States

71.8

Germany

71.2

Netherlands

69.9

Australia

67.9

Canada

67.8

United Kingdom

67.2

Belgium

65.2

France

63.8

 

The research also shows that the top drivers of employee happiness vary by country. In the United States, UK and Canada, the highest-ranking factors are having pride in one’s organisation, feeling appreciated and being treated with fairness and respect.  In France, Belgium, Germany and Australia, being treated with fairness and respect is the top happiness factor. In the Netherlands, a sense of accomplishment is the most important driver of happiness.

‘Employee happiness is closely connected to organisational productivity and innovation. Happy employees are typically more engaged and driven to succeed, creating a positive and high performing work environment,’ explained Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director, at Robert Half UK, UAE and South America. ‘By taking the time to offer feedback and show sincere signs of appreciation, employers can increase employee engagement and satisfaction, leading to higher levels of happiness in the workplace.’

Employee stress levels and interest by country

The research also examined how average stress and interest levels at work vary across geographies. Among employees surveyed, Germans rate the level of interest they have in their work highest, followed by Dutch and Americans. Professionals in the Netherlands report the least stress on the job, with Australians ranking second and the United Kingdom coming in third.

Employee interest and stress level by country

Ranking

Level of Interest in Work

Low Stress Level

1

Germany

Netherlands

2

Netherlands

Australia

3

United States

United Kingdom

4

Belgium

United States

5

France

Belgium

6

Canada

Canada

7

United Kingdom

France

8

Australia

Germany

 

– ENDS –

Download Robert Half’s report, It’s time we all work happy®: The secrets of the happiest companies and employees

About the Research

This study was developed by Robert Half and Happiness Works and conducted by an independent research firm. The research is based on survey results of more than 23,000 working professionals who are currently employed on a full or part-time basis across eight countries with the results segmented by geographic location. 

About Robert Half

Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy with more than 325 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology and administrative professionals. We believe working happy is the only way to work, and we have made it our mission to help people find fulfilling jobs and help companies build happy, productive teams. Find out more at roberthalf.co.uk/its-time-we-all-work-happy